U.S. to Cancel Terrorist Designation of Yemen’s Houthis

The United States said on Friday it plans to cancel the terrorist designation of Yemen’s Houthi movement in response to the war-torn country’s humanitarian crisis.

The Killid Group
6 Feb 2021
U.S. to Cancel Terrorist Designation of Yemen’s Houthis
US plans to revoke terrorist designation for Houthi rebels © Getty Images

The reversal followed President Joe Biden’s decision on Thursday which was declared to be ending U.S. support for the military campaign in Yemen led by Saudi Arabia, widely seen as a proxy conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The move reversing one of the most criticized last-minute decisions of the Trump administration was welcomed by the U.N. which describes Yemen as the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis, with 80% of its people in need.

“We welcome the stated intention by the U.S. administration to revoke the designation as it will provide profound relief to millions of Yemenis who rely on humanitarian assistance and commercial imports to meet their basic survival needs,” Reuters quoted U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

Then U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo put the Houthis on blacklist back on January 19—a day before Joe Biden took office.

The U.S. administration under former President Donald Trump exempted assistance groups, the United Nations, the Red Cross and the export of agricultural commodities, medicine and medical devices from its designation.

However, U.N. officials and relief groups said the carve-outs were not enough and called for the designation to be revoked.

The State Department official stressed that the action did not reflect the U.S. view of the Houthis and their “reprehensible conduct.” “Our action is due entirely to the humanitarian consequences of this last-minute designation from the prior administration, which the United Nations and humanitarian organisations have since made clear would accelerate the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.”

The Saudi-led military coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015, backing government forces fighting the Iran-aligned Houthis. U.N. officials are trying to revive peace talks as the country also faces an economic crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic.

(By: Reuters)

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