Saudi-Backed Forces Using Truce to Advance Positions in Yemen: Int’l Lawyer
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A senior Canadian international attorney blamed the Saudi-led coalition for most of the truce violations in Yemen and said the Riyadh-backed forces are using the ceasefire agreement to advance their positions and attack the Houthis.
"It is clear that the Saudi-backed forces have been responsible for most of the truce violations," Edward Corrigan from Ontario said in an interview with Tasnim.
"They appear to be using the truce to advance their positions and to attack the Houthis and their allies," he added.
Edward C. Corrigan is certified as a specialist by the Law Society of Ontario, Canada in Citizenship, Immigration and Immigration and Refugee Law. He is also an analyst and commentator for a number of media outlets around the world.
The following is the full text of the interview:
Tasnim: The Saudi-led war on Yemen, which grinds into its fifth year, has led to the world's largest humanitarian crisis. The war has devastated the lives of millions of people, many of whom on the brink of starvation and desperate for food aid to survive. The malnourishment of children in Yemen leaves them not only hungry and physically weak, but also easy prey for diseases like cholera. What do you think about the heinous crimes committed by the Saudi regime and its backers, mainly the US and the UK?
Corrigan: In my opinion the attack on Yemen is an act of aggression by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and their allies. The Saudis and their allies have committed many war crimes against the people of Yemen. Saudi troops are reportedly not willing to leave their "air conditioned shelters". Pakistan which has a large number of troops in Saudi Arabia to help protect the Saud family and maintain it in power has refused to participate in the war in Yemen. The Saudis and UAE have had to hire mercenaries to fight their war in Yemen. However, mercenaries are not committed to the war unlike the Houthis and their allies who are strongly defending their country against foreign aggression. Money can only do so much. The United States and Britain also have troops on the ground supporting the Saudis attack. Opposition is growing in Britain and the United States to Yemeni war but it has not yet reached the tipping point. It is also clear that the Saudis and their allies have committed war crimes in their attacks against Yemeni civilians, the destruction of infrastructure and their cruel embargo of the country denying the people food and medicine and other necessities of life.
Tasnim: As you know, in the first major breakthrough in peace efforts, the warring parties agreed at December talks in Sweden, the first in two years, on a ceasefire in Hudaydah. However, the Saudi-led coalition and their mercenaries have violated the ongoing ceasefire in the port city many times, by attacking residential areas there. What is your opinion about the truce violations? What role can the UN play in this regard?
Corrigan: It is clear that the Saudi-backed forces have been responsible for most of the truce violations. They appear to be using the truce to advance their positions and to attack the Houthis and their allies. It is unlikely that the UN Security Council will take strong action because the British and Americans will veto any Security Resolution and prevent the UN from taking strong action.
Tasnim: How do you predict the future of the country's crisis? In your opinion, how can Yemeni groups end the crisis through dialogue and negotiation?
Corrigan: The bitter war has been raging for nearly 4 years. The Saudis cannot defeat the Houthis and their allies. However, the Houthis cannot defeat the Saudis and UAE backed invasion. (Fugitive former president Abd Rabbuh Mansour) Hadi has limited support in Yemen and cannot stand alone. The solution is continuation of the UN-sponsored talks in Geneva with Oman playing the role of an honest broker. All parties to the conflict must participate and engage in meaning dialogue. There are signs of growing opposition in the ruling Al Saud family and their allies to the war in Yemen. Once both sides reach the point where they realize that peace is the only option, then and only then will there be the will to end the conflict. In the meantime, the people of Yemen bear the brunt of the suffering. This is the largest manmade humanitarian crisis on the planet and it must come to a fair and equitable end in the very near future. Allowing food and medicine into Yemen would be a good start and an expression of good will.