By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 28 — Amid Saudi Arabia’s campaign of airstrikes on Yemen, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator for the country Johannes Van Der Klaauw on April 23 said “the evacuation of third-country nationals from Sana’a has been temporarily suspended.”

This last was a reference to the International Organization for Migration, which days earlier said “operations continue to be hampered by unacceptable demands in regard to the identity of passengers to be evacuated by IOM.”

Inner City Press asked IOM to say WHO was demanding the ID information. IOM spokesperson Joel Millman replied, “We are not sharing that detail.”

On April 22, Saudi Ambassador to the US Jubeir said his country has been checking everything and everyone going into Sana’a – and everything and everyone going out.

So why wouldn’t IOM say who was hampering it? What is the “counter-terrorism” work behind all this, including by the UN?

On May 28, Inner City Press asked Jean-Paul Laborde, the UN’s Executive Director of the Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, about the intersection of counter-terrorism and humanitarian law and imperatives. Video here.

Laborde said in these cases, people should be allowed to flee then be screened wherever they arrived. Clearly, this was not Saudi Arabia’s approach. But will Laborde criticize them or seek better practices? When Inner City Press asked the genial Mr. Laborde about Turkey, he praised them effusively.

Recently Somaliland complained it could take no more of those fleeing from Yemen, because the UN was providing no assistance (this was reported to us by follow Free Coalition for Access member Mohamoud Ali Walaaleye.)  Inner City Press on May 28 asked Laborde about this.

Laborde said, “We will try to do our best,” then added that in “countries like Somaliland,” you have to resolve the crisis before getting into the technicalities.  Inner City Press tweeted this to the UN’s envoy Nicholas Kay; we’ll see.

Source: Inner City Press