Ex-UN envoy to Yemen tied to MI6, SIS, Foreign Office: Declassified
Inter Mediate company for conflict resolution, co-founded by Martin Griffiths, has a tight-knit connection with the MI6 (UK Military Intelligence) and the Foreign Office.
Having partaken roles in international peacebuilding efforts, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and British diplomat, Martin Griffiths, was the UN special envoy to Yemen until August 2021.
The UK is not only fighting in the war but is backing Saudi Arabia in the war against Yemen to revive the government of Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, who fled the country in 2015.
His previous role now raises suspicions of highly-possible ties to the British MI6 in Yemen.
According to Declassified UK, a company called Inter Mediate for conflict resolution co-founded by Griffiths, where he still serves as "strategic advisor," has a tight-knit connection with the MI6 (UK Military Intelligence) and the Foreign Office. It was known to recruit exclusively veterans from the Foreign Office in its early founding years.
The company “focuses on the most difficult, complex and dangerous conflicts where other organizations are unable to operate” and “brings together some of the leading experts on dialogue and negotiation."
Allegedly its chief executive claims that Inter Mediate started work in Yemen and Syria six years before Griffiths was appointed as UN envoy to Yemen.
Private money, anonymous funders
The Foreign Office promoted Griffiths as Yemen's UN envoy in 2018, stating: “A successful campaign to secure the appointment of a new UN special envoy for Yemen led to the appointment of British national and international mediation expert Martin Griffiths”.
Much evidence points to his guilt as having played the fields. During 1981-3, he was based in Peshawar, Pakistan, working for UNICEF, where both CIA and MI6 covert operations to support Afghan forces counter the Soviets, which began in 1979.
Griffiths later became the director of the United Nations Department for Humanitarian Affairs (DHA) in Geneva in 1994, after serving as the chief executive of the British development NGO ActionAid for four years and having previously worked at Save the Children and the UN's children's agency, UNICEF.
Jointly, allies Saudi Arabia and the UK “expressed their strong support” for his promotion as UN special envoy, whose office was funded by the UK government, with £650,000 from the British aid 2019-20 budget.
Founded in 2011 by Griffiths and co-founder Jonathan Powell, who was Tony Blair’s former chief of staff, Powell has served as Inter Mediate’s chief executive since its establishment. After having previously worked for the Foreign Office, Powell was promoted by former prime minister David Cameron to the position of UK’s special envoy to Libya.
Declassified discovered up to 23 payments transferred by the Foreign Office to the company lasting between 2013 to 2020. But the Foreign Office disclosed to Declassified that it has “provided just over £4 million to Inter Mediate between 2011-2020 to support work towards resolving international conflicts.”
The specialist media organization, Intelligence Online, identifies Inter Mediate as conducting “discreet diplomatic missions with state funding but also private money”, calling Powell the Foreign Office's "private partner" even though its private funders remain anonymous.
Its major funders are governments, including Finland, Sweden, Canada, the Netherlands, and the UK.
A spokesperson pertaining to the Foreign Office denied involvement and told Declassified: “The Foreign Office was not involved in the founding of Inter-Mediate.”
'Charitable' organization for conflict resolution
The company website states that Powell “has… participated in a number of negotiations between governments and insurgent groups in Europe and Asia working closely with Martin Griffiths of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue,” which is the conflict resolution center in Geneva founded in 1999.
A spokesperson for Inter Mediate told Declassified: “We don’t talk to the press about the work we do, or discuss details about our staff and trustees. But to be clear: Inter Mediate is a charitable organization founded to end armed conflict around the world, building on lessons from the Northern Ireland experience and other successful peace processes.”
The spokesperson continued: “We are funded by multiple governments and foundations, but have always worked entirely independently as a non-governmental organization and have no special relationship with any government."
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A Foreign Office spokesperson told Declassified: “The UK engages with a wide range of international NGOs and other groups to discuss best practices for conflict mediation in a number of countries," adding: “Inter-Mediate is one of many well-respected mediation organizations, with which we have discussed Yemen, Libya, and other conflicts”.
Hilary Clinton supervises "under the radar"
An email disclosed by the US government from Powell serves as living proof for all claims above.
In the email, he wrote that Inter Mediate worked closely with the MI6. He told a senior aide to the then-US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, in 2012 that “we work closely with FCO [Foreign and Commonwealth Office], NSC [National Security Council] and SIS [Secret Intelligence Service] in London”.
Powell added in the email that Inter Mediate organizes “secret channels between insurgents and governments” and operated in Nigeria, Colombia, Bahrain, Afghanistan and North Korea.
He continued: “We are starting work in Syria, in conjunction with [former UN secretary general] Kofi Annan, in Yemen, in Somalia, and in Burma”.
Once she knew of Powell's arrival in Washington DC, Clinton replied: “I’d like to see Powell when he is in the Building.”
Powell proceeded to convene with Clinton’s then-deputy chief of staff and now President Biden’s National Security Adviser, Jacob Sullivan.
The US seems quite intrigued to have been so involved, as Powell met with "old friend" and then deputy secretary of state William Burns - now serving as director of the CIA. Clinton’s aide stated that Inter Mediate works “under the radar”.
Disguised as charity
One of its four founding directors, Christopher James, was a senior veteran of MI6 and the SAS and was on the company board for five years until 2016. Not only so, but he was head of the MI6 section responsible for cooperating with British firms.
He later established the business intelligence company Hakluyt after his departure from MI6 in 1995 - known for its ties to MI6 and for being “a convenient rest home for MI6 men”.
Inter Mediate was also registered at the London office of another company also set up by James called Corporates for Crisis (CforC), registered as a “corporate intelligence” firm which reportedly Griffiths “recently worked for".
Another form Inter Mediate took was a disguise under a private company called IM01, a UK charity. With nine projects in the Americas, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia in 2021-22, it racked up an income total of £1.4 million ($1.7 million).
Soldiers in Arab clothing
It was reported in 2019 that “at least five British special forces commandos got injured in gun battles as part of a top-secret UK military campaign in Yemen”.
The forces from the Special Boat Service (SBS), were wounded from battles in Saadah, northern Yemen, where “up to 30 crack British troops are based”. The Daily Telegraph underlined in one of its recent articles that “SAS personnel serve as a wing of MI6 while remaining under military command.”
A US-UK special forces task force comprised of 12 men from the SAS and the US Green Berets reportedly flew into Yemen from Djibouti in January 2019, allegedly on a “humanitarian mission”. The men were dressed in Arab clothing and reported to be working near Maarib in Yemen.
The UK was training Saudi forces in Yemen at Al-Ghaydah airport, where 30 of its troops were also deployed, according to Declassified in 2021.
A Foreign Office spokesperson relayed to Declassified that same year, when Griffiths was still UN envoy to Yemen: “Martin Griffiths is an independent UN official and highly regarded international mediator.
We work closely with Griffiths on the Yemen conflict in his capacity as Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General to Yemen and fully support his work in our role as penholder on Yemen in the UN Security Council.”