Yemen: UN urges not to worsen "already dire situation"

A man carrying a bag of food aid in Yemen's Hajjah region in July 2019. AFP Photo / Essa Ahmed

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As the United States considers placing Yemen's Houthi rebels on its list of "terrorist organizations," the UN has warned of the consequences of such a move on the civilian population.


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With our correspondent in New York,

Carrie Nooten

The Trump administration will do whatever it can until the end of its mandate to strike blows at Iran and its proxies.

Among them, the Houthi rebels in Yemen.

But in this case, if Washington were to threaten to put the Houthi rebels on their list of "terrorist organizations" to be executed, it would certainly be the civilians who would pay the consequences because it would make humanitarian aid deliveries much more complicated.

On Friday, Antonio Guterres asked, without naming them, the United States " 

not to rock the boat 


We must do everything to avoid the risk of a famine which is unlikely to have an equivalent in recent history, apart from perhaps the infamous famine in Ethiopia decades ago,"

urged the UN secretary general. 

In this very fragile situation in terms of famine, and while we have hope on the side of the talks, we believe that a unilateral initiative would probably not be positive.


"We risk a tragedy"

If the United States puts Yemeni rebels on its list, interacting with Houthi officials, managing taxes, using the banking system, paying medical staff, buying food and oil, and accessing the internet could be hindered.

The United Nations is also concerned about the repercussions that this decision would have on the progress of the talks currently under negotiation.

As reasons for an increased threat of famine, the UN chief evokes a " 

drastic reduction 

" in funding for aid coordinated by the UN compared to 2018 and 2019, the instability of the Yemeni rial and the obstacles posed by belligerents to aid workers on the ground.


I urge all who have influence to act urgently on these issues to avert disaster.

Otherwise, we risk a tragedy not only in the immediate loss of life, but with consequences that will reverberate endlessly in the future,

 ”he warns.


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  • Yemen

  • UN

  • Humanitarian

  • United States

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