Houthi Ansar Allah Movement: Ceasefire Negotiations Stalled; Escalating Threats Against Oil Companies And Maritime Transport

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October 2, 2022

 

On October 1, 2022, a day before the expiry of the August extension of the UN-brokered April 2022 ceasefire between the Houthi Ansar Allah movement, and the Saudi- and UAE-led Arab Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen and the government recognized by the international community, the Houthis announced that the negotiations for an additional extension to the ceasefire had reached a deadlock and deemed Saudi Arabia and the UAE responsible. Furthermore, they escalated their threats to attack oil and gas companies operating in the area,[1] and warned that shipping vessels travelling to Saudi Arabia and the UAE were on their target list.

The following is a review of the most recent Houthi threats and declarations:

The Negotiations Have Reached a Deadlock

In the late evening of October 1, 2022, the Houthi National Negotiation Delegation, which represents the Houthis at the negotiations to extend the ceasefire accords, announced that the negotiations had reached "a deadlock." In its statement the delegation notes that it wishes to apprise the Yemeni people of the efforts it has invested to make the most of the ceasefire in order to advance progress on humanitarian issues, and to strengthen the ceasefire so as to achieve "a lasting and comprehensive peace."

According to the delegation, time and again "the countries of aggression," i.e. Saudi Arabia and the UAE, breached their obligations pertaining to the ceasefire and attempted to exploit it in order to subjugate the Yemeni people by means of an economic siege; rejected every proposal related to opening the roads across Yemen; and opposed every proposal regarding prisoner exchanges.

The statement asserts that, "The Yemeni people has the right to defend itself and its rights, and to confront the aggression and the siege." The delegation holds the "countries of aggression" responsible for the fact that the negotiations have reached an impasse, claiming that this is due to their "stubbornness and to their refusal to take steps whose sole purpose is to ease the suffering of the Yemeni people."[2]

The Oil and Gas Companies Must Halt Operations from 18:00 on October 2

In tandem with the statement referred to above, the Ansar Allah Supreme Economic Council released a statement of its own which says that Mahdi Al-Mashat, the Supreme Commander of the Houthi armed forces and the president of the Houthi Supreme Political Council, instructed it to send official statements "to all the companies and bodies which are involved in the plunder of the sovereign Yemeni resources," and to desist completely from this "plunder" starting at 18:00 on October 2, and if not they will bear the full burden of the consequences.

Spokesman for the Houthi Armed Forces: All the Shipping Companies En Route to Saudi Arabia and the UAE are on our Target List

Yahya Sarea, the spokesman for the Houthi armed forces, explained the meaning of the threat to shipping vessels travelling to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. He said that the reference isn't only to oil companies operating in the area but to "all the shipping and sailing companies travelling by sea to the countries of aggression and all the foreign and local oil companies that are active in the Yemeni republic [i.e. in territories controlled by the government which is recognized by the international community]."

In a tweet, Sarea also warned that, "The armed forces recommend that these companies take heed of all the warnings and instructions" that are published, "immediately following the end of the ceasefire, if the just demands of our people are not met." He also wrote that the armed forces are on alert and are prepared for every development and that they hold these companies responsible in the event that they ignore the instructions, which he states will be published in the coming hours.

In a later tweet Sarea wrote, "We'll be back, stay tuned."[3]

 

In an attempt to demonstrate the seriousness of the threats from Ansar Allah, the Houthi military media unit shared a video on its Telegram channel which includes excerpts from a speech delivered by Houthi leader Abd Al-Malik Al-Houthi, in which he warns that if the countries of the coalition don't respond to the Houthi proposal for a ceasefire they "will regret it." He is also shown saying that the Houthis will do everything in their power to break the siege. The accompanying footage portrays the Ansar Allah maritime and air forces and also the attacks carried out by the Houthis on the oil facilities in Saudi Arabia.[4] The video was first released on March 31, 2022, in advance of the signing of the UN-brokered ceasefire accords in April.[5]

 

 

[2] Telegram.me/ansarollah1, October 1, 2022.

[3] Twitter.com, army21ye, October 1, 2022.

[4] Telegram.me/ MilitaryMediaYVideos1, October 2, 2022.

[5] Telegram.me/ CreativeProductionUnite, March 31, 2022.

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