US State Department starts to revisit Trump terrorist designation of Yemen’s Ansarullah
A spokesperson at the US State Department says Washington has started a review of a decision by the administration of former US President Donald Trump to designate Yemen’s popular Ansarullah movement as a foreign terrorist organization.
“As noted by Secretary-Designate [Anthony] Blinken, the State Department has initiated a review of Ansarullah’s terrorist designations,” the spokesperson said on Friday.
“We will not publicly discuss or comment on internal deliberations regarding that review; however, with the humanitarian crisis in Yemen we are working as fast as we can to conduct the review and make a determination,” the spokesperson added.
Trump's administration announced the designation of the popular Ansarullah movement as a terrorist group on January 11, nine days before new US President Joe Biden took office on Wednesday.
Trump was a staunch ally of Saudi Arabia, offering US logistical help and military sales for its six-year war on Yemen to dislodge the Ansarullah-led and Sana’a-based National Salvation Government, which is controlling much of the war-torn country.
Earlier this week, Blinken said the US State Department would quickly take a look at the terrorist designation of Ansarullah, and end support to the devastating Saudi-led offensive on Yemen.
Blinken said that the Saudis have "contributed to what is by most accounts the worst humanitarian situation anywhere in the world."
The United Nations and aid groups have warned the terrorist designation risks complicating efforts to combat the world’s largest humanitarian crisis in the war-wracked country where millions depend on aid to survive.
Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, has called on the United States to reverse the Trump administration's move.
“Our position on this has not changed. We call on the government to reverse that decision,” Dujarric said.
“Our concern from the beginning, that we expressed very clearly, is the impact on the commercial sector,” he added.
“The vast majority of food and other basic supplies that comes into Yemen comes in through the commercial sector,” Dujarric pointed out.