The head of the Ansarullah delegation in the Geneva consultations says Saudi Arabia is committing genocide in Yemen and using banned weapons in its ongoing military aggression against its impoverished southern neighbor, Press TV reports.
“We have images of complete genocide being committed against the Yemeni people, we have practice of genocide against our people,” Hamza al-Houthi told Press TV’s correspondent in Geneva.
He said there must be an immediate halt to the Saudi military campaign against Yemen, adding that he and the members of his party have attended the talks in Geneva to expose the realities of the ongoing military aggressions against Yemen.
“Today, we held a press conference at the headquarters of the International Human Rights Council in order to send our message to the international community and the world regarding the true nature of this aggression and brutality being practiced against the people,” said the senior Ansarullah member.
“We stress that this aggression has resulted in the killing of thousands of innocent people. The aggression has also destroyed the country’s civilian structure, airports, hospitals; even refugee camps erected by the UN have been destroyed by the said raid,” Houthi said.
“We have taken this opportunity to raise our voices to the world that this aggression must stop. The international community should do something to put a halt to this aggression,” he added.
Answering a question on the possibility of a humanitarian truce during the holy month of Ramadan, he said this issue is being discussed upon a request by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
He said nothing is clear yet, but consultations have been held on the implementation of a much-needed ceasefire.
Earlier in the day, a UN spokesman said Yemeni political factions have agreed to a humanitarian ceasefire during the holy fasting month of Ramadan.
“The parties of the Yemeni interlocutors with the United Nations agreed to declare a humanitarian truce with the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan,” Ahmad Fawzi, a UN spokesman, told Sputnik news, adding that the ceasefire is expected to be officially announced in the “coming hours.”
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had earlier asked for a month-long humanitarian truce. In his address to the opening of Geneva negotiations on Monday, Ban said Ramadan could be a time for “reflection, harmony and reconciliation” in Yemen.
The UN-backed peace talks are expected to continue until Saturday. Yemeni political factions, including representatives of the Ansraullah, and members of the ousted government of the Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi are attending the talks.
The fugitive president is currently in Saudi Arabia, where he has been supporting the kingdom’s three-month-long aggression against Yemen.
Houthi delegation stalled at UN panel
Meanwhile, according to the Press TV correspondent, later on Thursday, the Yemeni delegation led by al-Houthi was stalled when they arrived to attend a high-profile United Nations panel discussion in Geneva on the situation of human rights in the Arab country.
The delegation representing Ansarullah movement was delayed for a panel discussion entitled “The Human Rights Situation in Yemen and UN Responsibility” on the sidelines of the 29th Human Rights Council session.
The meeting was due to hear a speech by al-Houthi, who reportedly planned to bring up the plight of millions of Yemenis who have been victims of Saudi aggression on Yemen.
However, al-Houthi and his aides were delayed after a delegate from the UN special envoy reportedly arrived at the hotel they were residing.
The Yemeni delegation was delayed for the second time at the security gate of the UN as they did not have their passports with them. The security guards allowed the Yemenis only after the conference was over and this came after members of the delegation showed copies of their passports.
Reports said that Houthi decided to address the media outside the conference room, showing them pictures of Yemeni civilians killed with illegal weapons like phosphorous and cluster bombs in the Saudi airstrike.
The delay was interpreted by some Ansarullah aides and media staff as a deliberate attempt to sabotage the panel and stop the English-speaking media from hearing what Hamza al-Houthi had to say.
The senior Ansarullah leader only speaks in Arabic and he does not have an official translator with him.
If the UN panel had taken place, the international media could have listened to his comments through English and French translators provided by the UN.
Riyadh started its military campaign against the Arabian Peninsula nation on March 26 – without a UN mandate – in an attempt to weaken the Ansarullah and bring Hadi back to power.
The United Nations says at least 2,600 people have been killed and 11,000 others wounded due to the conflict in Yemen since March 19.
UN Human Rights spokesman Rupert Colville said on June 16 that at least 1,412 civilians, including 210 women, have been killed and a further 3,423 injured since March 26.