The website,Declassified, has shown that Griffiths’ is a founder of, and adviser to, a private conflict resolution company, Inter Mediate, that works with the UK’s Secret Intelligence Service, also known as MI6. Foreign Office has given over £4m to Inter Mediate and launched “campaign” to secure Griffiths’ appointment to his UN special envoy role.
Inter Mediate was established in 2011 by Griffiths and Jonathan Powell, Tony Blair’s former chief of staff. Powell helped negotiate the Good Friday agreement in Northern Ireland and was central to UK foreign policy under Blair.
Inter Mediate was said by its chief executive to be “starting work” in Yemen and Syria six years before Griffiths became UN envoy to Yemen, at a time when he served as a senior UN adviser in Syria. It is not known if the company is still active in Yemen.
In a recent interview, Griffiths said “diplomatic work, information gathering or intelligence work is all about empathy at its core”. Information suggests that Griffiths’ sole diplomatic position was as a press spokesperson for the British embassy in South Africa in 1985.
The Royal Navy’s current Maritime Security Advisor to Yemen is Commander James Edwards, who is also based in Riyadh. He describes his role as involving “Delivery of timely maritime security advice, guidance and analysis to the FCDO and MoD on the maritime security of the southern Red Sea, Bab al Mandeb Strait and the Gulf of Aden”.
The secondment of the military officer raises further questions about the undermining of the appearance of impartiality crucial to the role of the UN special envoy. UK special forces are believed to have played a role in the war while the British military is maintaining the Saudi warplanes which have long operated over Yemen.
Griffiths, a British expert in conflict mediation, was appointed as UN special envoy in 2018 after a campaign by the UK government. He held the position until August 2021 when he became the UN’s Under-secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs. Accordingly, the Yemenis were not mistaken when they accused the former UN envoy Martin Griffiths of siding with the countries of aggression, lack of impartiality in his mission, and keenness to prolong the aggression against Yemen.#Yemen #UK #Security and Intelligence Service #UN Envoy 23-01-09
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