UN / YEMEN

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18-Aug-2017 00:03:10
UN humanitarian chief Stephen O’Brien said the conduct of war in Yemen continues to be “really vicious and brutal” adding that “even wars have rules, and even wars have their limits, or at least they should have.” UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / YEMEN
TRT: 03:10
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ARABIC / ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 18 AUGUST 2017, NEW YORK CITY

SHOTLIST:

FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UNHQ exterior

18 AUGUST 2017, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council standing in moment of silence
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Stephen O’Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, United Nations:
“The conduct of the war continues to be really vicious and brutal, with frequent complete disregard for international law or principles or just the basic norms of human behaviour. Even wars have rules, and even wars have their limits, or at least they should have.”
4. Med shot, Yemeni Foreign Minister
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Stephen O’Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, United Nations:
“Let us be clear. Speaking
6. Wide shot, Security Council
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Stephen O’Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, United Nations:
“Let’s not get hung up on the semantics of who is a party, who is a proxy, and who denies being involved. All the perpetrators and the facilitators of this hideous Yemen war know who they are. And the evidence of their conduct is being gathered, preserved, and prepared for holding each and all to account, to seek to avert the abominable confidence that the sense of impunity is currently motivating them to perpetrate this horror on the Yemeni people.”
8. Med shot, Security Council
9. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, Special Envoy for Yemen, United Nations:
“The international community is unified in support of a peaceful settlement on all levels, but the parties to the conflict continue to miss one opportunity after the other. Certain parties to the conflict want to take advantage of internal divisions for personal gains without taking into consideration Yemen’s urgent need for peace.”
10. Wide shot, Yemeni Foreign Minister
11. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, Special Envoy for Yemen, United Nations:
“Those who want peace create solutions do not look for excuses. I will not hide the fact that there are many merchants of war in Yemen who do not want peace.”
12. Med shot, Egyptian ambassador
13. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Abdulmalik Al-Mekhlafi, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yemen:
“The most dangerous attribute of this war is that it has become largely profitable for these militias. In the time that the people living under the control of the militias are suffering from hunger, the Houthi warlords are making millions. How is it that they should accept peace and abandon these large amounts of money which is stained with the blood of the Yemeni people?”
14. Pan right, Security Council
15. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Abdulmalik Al-Mekhlafi, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yemen:
“As we appreciate international calls to open Sanaa airport to flights, and despite all the fears and the security threats related to the airport and having it operated by rebel militias, we declare our willingness to agree to open Sanaa airport; if the militias agree to leave its management to the official government employees which managed it before the coup, and under the supervision of the United Nations. We are eager to lessen the suffering endured by our brethren in our beloved capital Sanaa due to the coup and war.”
16. Wide shot, Security Council

STORYLINE:

UN humanitarian chief Stephen O’Brien said the conduct of war in Yemen continues to be “really vicious and brutal” adding that “even wars have rules, and even wars have their limits, or at least they should have.”

Briefing the Security Council today (18 Aug), O’Brien said the war in Yemen was marked by “frequent complete disregard for international law or principles or just the basic norms of human behaviour.” He said 17 million Yemenis do not know if or where they will get their next meal with nearly 7 million facing the threat of famine and nearly 16 million lacking access to water or sanitation. He said the appalling statistics of the crisis must not obscure the fact that the country’s catastrophe is completely man-made. He stressed that the crisis is a direct result of the deliberate policies, tactics and actions of the parties to the conflict and their proxies.

The Emergency Relief Coordinator noted that “all the perpetrators and the facilitators of this hideous Yemen war know who they are, and the evidence of their conduct is being gathered, preserved, and prepared for holding each and all to account, to seek to avert the abominable confidence that the sense of impunity is currently motivating them to perpetrate this horror on the Yemeni people.”

Responding to recent reports that the Yemeni Government did not see the need to open Sanaa airport as the airport in Adan was open, O’Brien said this was not a real solution given the scale of the humanitarian crisis. He added, “Most of the need is in the north of Yemen not the south; fact. Sanaa and Hodeidah best serve the north, not Adan; fact.”

Speaking from the Jordanian capital Amman, UN Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said death looms from Yemenis by air, land, and sea, while diseases are at unprecedented levels. He said those who survive the cholera epidemic continue to suffer from the consequences of political cholera which continues to obstruct the road to peace. Ould Cheikh Ahmed said the international community is unified in support of a peaceful settlement, “but the parties to the conflict continue to miss one opportunity after the other.” He added that certain parties to the conflict “want to take advantage of internal divisions for personal gains without taking into consideration Yemen’s urgent need for peace.”

The Special Envoy said his proposal to re-open the port of Hodeida includes a plan to hand over the port to a committee of respected Yemeni security and economic figures, working under UN oversight and guidance. He also proposed opening Sanaa airport for commercial flights which would allow the wounded and sick to seek treatment abroad. Ould Cheikh Ahmed noted that these initiatives should contribute to the rebuilding of confidence between the parties and serve as a first step towards a new national cessation of hostilities and the resumption of talks to end the conflict. He said that those who want peace “create solutions and do not look for excuses” adding that there are “many merchants of war in Yemen who do not want peace.”

Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdulmalik Al-Mekhlafi said his Government was and still is open to the Special Envoy’s proposals which he said were rejected by the Houthis and their allies. He said, “The most dangerous attribute of this war is that it has become largely profitable for these militias. In the time that the people living under the control of the militias are suffering from hunger, the Houthi warlords are making millions.” He asked, “How is it that they should accept peace and abandon these large among of money which is stained with the blood of the Yemeni people?” Al-Mekhlafi announced his Government’s willingness to agree to open Sanaa airport, “if the militias agree to leave its management to the official government employees which managed it before the coup, and under the supervision of the United Nations.”
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