During a seminar that was held in Geneva, Switzerland, Ali Albukaiti, a politician and a freelance writer, called on the International Community to thoroughly analyze the Houthi movement through their actions rather than the deceiving statements made by their officials.
The seminar was arranged and took place last Thursday in Club suisse de la presse – Geneva Press Club (GPC).
During the seminar, which entitled “Who Are the Houthis? What Are Their Believes and Actions ?”, Albukaiti emphasized that governments, organizations, journalists, and analysts in the West are yet to have a full understanding of this group, referring to the Houthi movement.
The West are yet to have a full understanding of the Houthi movement
The West Paradox
“It’s so unfortunate that the war in Yemen is thought to be between the Houthis and the Saudi-led coalition. While the Yemeni people are overlooked in the impoverished country, the Houthis are considered to be an oppressed minority,” Albukaiti said.
He continued, “Most international organizations think that there is a big coalition waging war against the Houthis and ignore how this movement does harm to the Yemeni people.”
He also drew attention to how many western reports never fail to find faults in the Saudi-led coalition whereas they turn a blind eye to countless crimes and violations committed by the Houthi movement. “It seems the West deals with Yemen’s issue according to their interests in the region,” he explained.
According to Mr. Albukaiti, the West have a feeling that the more reports on KSA and its allies, the more they can be used to gain benefits by exploiting the kingdom financially and economically. Nevertheless, the same method cannot be applied on Houthis since there will be no economic benefits, which explains the reason why such reports are focused on a sole direction.
The West have a feeling that the more reports on KSA and its allies, the more they can be used to gain benefits by exploiting the kingdom financially and economically
A Misunderstanding of the Houthi Movement
Ali Albukaiti said many recongize the Houthis as a political movement while they are far from engaging in politics since all indications say they are a religious extremist movement, with radical roots.
“We tried many times to get the movement involved in politics hoping it would cease violence and put down weapons in order to take part in democracy and the process of the peaceful transfer of power. However, all attempts failed the moment they stormed and took over the capital of Yemen. They just changed all the political slogans and replaced them with imposing a system of power based on the ideology they believe in,” he said.
He added, “The Houthis are the Zaidis’ version of ISIS, so to speak. They don’t represent the Zaidis sect, nor do they represent north Yemen. They are just an extremist group that has nothing to do with politics.”
He also talked to the Western Community saying that if they want to really know who the Houthis are, they just simply need to look at their actions, which contradict with what they say to the UN envoy or the ambassadors of the Security Council.
” Houthis don’t represent the Zaidis sect, nor do they represent north Yemen. They are just an extremist group that has nothing to do with politics”
Mr. Albukaiti highlighted the crimes the Houhtis committed against their rivals, such as blowing up their homes, arresting them for no charges, and shutting down their media outlets as well as coercing preachers in mosques to serve their ideology.
“Even though they have taken over all state institutions in the provinces they control, they also have other authorities of their own,” he mentioned.
He citied that they don’t take their detainees to the security services they control, but rather to private and unknown detonations where they keep their detainees for months or even years, while some die of torture, their families keep having faith that they are still alive since they have no clue where they are.
“They even dare abduct and arrest Yemeni women for false charges, which has never happened in the course of history of Yemen,” he added.
Albukaiti portrayed the Houthi movement like a group that came from the mediaeval time and found itself in the 21st century, knowing nothing but violence and ignorance.
“It is true they have a political wing that was taught the arts of delivering speeches about politics and human rights, but this is one onr and their reality on the ground is an absolute different thing,” he emphasized.
He wondered, ” How come this group commit atrocious crimes against the Yemeni people and is still thought to be a political movement?”
Ali Albukaiti expressed deep concern about the future of Yemen warning that the group will expand its radical ideology among the Yemeni people. “If they are not to be stopped now, I am afraid it might be too late to save Yemen and its people from these extremists,” he warned.
“This group is cautious not to kill any foreigners in the country, because they need support from the west. However, they kill thousands of Yemenis in cold blood,” he said.
He also raised unanswered questions of why the international organizations never carry out studies of the movement to find out who they really are.
Mr. Ali Albukaiti went on to say, ” Even though Abdulmalik Al Houthi, head of the movement, seems to be out of the picture when it comes to ruling, yet he is the one who runs things. He just appoints officials and ministers unlawfully. In every ministry, there is a supervisor to dictate what they do.”
” If they are not to be stopped now, I am afraid it might be too late to save Yemen and its people from these extremists”
Danger of Houthis & the UN leniency
According to him, the Houthis consider negotiations and peace talks as a tactic so that they gain more time to brainwash young people and have them in their side to be used in their “reckless wars”. They believe that power on the ground is what will make the world recognize them.
” Not only do Houthis pose a great danger to Yemen, but also the entire region since they will be Iranian back door to the Arbian Peninsula” he warned.
He ended his speech pointing out that recognizing this group before disarming them is a crime. He pointed fingers at Martin Griffith, the UN envoy to Yemen, for being too soft and lenient with the Houthis, which makes him accountable for the suffering of the Yemeni people.
Who is Ali Albukaiti ?
Ali Albukaiti is a Yemeni lawyer, politician, and freelance writer. He is also a former member of the Yemeni National Dialogue.