United Nations aid chief Mark Lowcock will urge the United States to reverse its plan to designate Yemen’s Houthi group as a foreign terrorist organization, in a planned Thursday briefing to the UN Security Council, seen by news agency Reuters.
The move would push the country into a “famine on a scale that we have not seen for nearly forty years,” Lowcock will warn the US.
A US plan to issue licenses and exemptions to aid agencies will not prevent a famine in Yemen, the aid chief will add.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday 11 that he intended to designate the Iran-backed Houthi movement in Yemen as a “foreign terrorist organization.”
The designation would provide additional tools to confront terrorist activity and terrorism by the Houthi movement, Pompeo said.
Diplomats and aid groups are concerned such a move could threaten peace talks and hamper efforts to deliver aid to what the UN calls the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.
The Yemen Houthi movement emerged in the 1980s, forming a broad tribal alliance in Yemen’s north based on a revival of Zaydism, a branch of Shia Islam, in opposition to an expanding Salafism.
They were also motivated by what they saw as Saleh’s economic discrimination of the north.
They formed a militia in the early 2000’s. After various rounds of fighting and the Arab Spring, the Iran-aligned movement took control of Yemen’s northern capital Sana in 2014.
Yemen’s Saudi-led internationally-recognized government and southern separatists have been waging a deadly war with them ever since.
Drop Yemen’s Houthi terrorist label, UN chief to urge US – reports The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ Deutsche Welle.