Ex-UN envoy to Yemen tied to Saudi, UAE energy companies: Declassified
Martin Griffiths has had several clients who have played major roles in bombing attacks on Yemen.
The current UN humanitarian chief, Martin Griffiths, cofounded a consultancy firm with the vice president of a major energy firm that has developed multi-million dollar projects in the US directly after the beginning of the war in Yemen. According to Declassified UK, The former UN special envoy to Yemen has shown close links to private energy groups that showed significant financial interests in the oil sectors in KSA and the UAE.
Griffiths co-founded his private consulting firm with Andrew Loken, who happens to be the vice president of ICARE, a company that has had major commercial interests in Saudi Arabia and UAE's energy sectors. Yet, ICARE claims that it does not currently work in either country.
Griffiths launched Mediation Group International (MGI), his consulting firm, which promoted conflict resolution back in 2011 with his co-founder and shareholder Andrew Loken. It seemed to have shared the same headquarters as ICARE in a town in western Switzerland.
When asked if there was a relationship between MGI and ICARE, Loken told Declassified UK that "there is no relationship or link," emphasizing that there had not been any discussions regarding this matter.
Both Saudi Arabian and Emirati governments are deeply belligerent in the war on Yemen. Over 25,000 bombing missions were flown by the UK-backed coalition in Yemen, mainly by Saudi warplanes. Given his position, Griffiths had access to officials in both countries. This raises questions regarding the impartiality of the role of the UN special envoy between 2018 and August 2021.
Read more: Ex-UN envoy to Yemen tied to MI6, SIS, Foreign Office: Declassified
Inter Mediate, another company Griffiths co-founded back in 2011, which is active in the war on Yemen, "works closely" with Britain's Secret Intelligence Services, Declassified has revealed. Its mission also includes finding resolutions to conflicts that may come up between communities, governments, and multinational companies... Inter Mediate's mission states that its “valuing lies in its exceptional professional mediation experience, its impartiality and its ability to operate in all environments”.
Relations with the energy sector
MGI's former website included information on its partners and associates. However, client details are missing from the page.
Andrew Loken was a shareholder in MGI while he worked as a general manager at ICARE GROUP, which at one point had 650 employees worldwide with a number of clients in the Middle East, including the majorly Saudi-government-owned Saudi Electric Company (SEC).
SEC is partially owned by Aramco (the Saudi national oil company)/ Its projects with ICARE have been estimated to reach almost a billion dollars.
ICARE had several other clients, including Saudi Arabia's largest mining company (Ma'aden), Yanbu Aramco Sinopec Refining, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, and oil giants such as Total, Petrobras, ExxonMobil, in addition to several more.
Peace in disguise?
Loken was appointed Senior Advisor at the European Institute of Peace when Griffiths acted as an executive director of that same institute. Griffiths, later on, left the institute when he was appointed UN envoy to Yemen in February 2018 following the Saudi-led war on Yemen.
When Loken took on his new role, while still working with ICARE, he was majorly active in Venezuela while he worked on major infrastructure improvement projects for over 10 years. He focused his work on improving and opening up communication channels between Venezuela's government and the European Union, adding one more major oil sector client to ICARE's list, PDVSA, Venezuela’s state oil company.
The Chief executive officer and president of ICARE told Declassified UK that he has never met or spoken to Mr.Grifiths, denying any connection between him, ICARE group, or any other companies he heads.
“I have never met nor spoken to Mr Griffiths and there is no connection between him and me or the ICARE group of companies of which I am President.” He added: “ICARE is not working on any projects in Saudi Arabia or the UAE.”
Read more: 18 Yemeni Missiles and Drones Target Saudi Aramco
Andrew Marshall, a Canadian former UN official, was another one of MGI's shareholders. He was appointed Senior Advisor following Griffith's appointment in Yemen in October 2019. Marshal also co-founded the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue with Griffiths back in 1999.
Headed by Marshall, the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue was able to achieve solutions to problems related to oil and pipeline operations in the World Bank in central Africa.
Another shareholder was British lawyer Mark Muller who was an advisor to the UN special envoy for Syria. He once acted as a Senior Advisor to both the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue and Inter Mediate.
Read next: 7 years of aggression on Yemen, victims surpass 46,000