UN draft resolution calls for Yemen truce, two weeks to unblock Hodeidah port for aid shipments

A UN draft resolution on Yemen presented to the Security Council on Monday calls for an immediate truce in the port city of Hodeidah and sets a two-week deadline for removing all barriers to humanitarian aid. (AFP/File Photo)
Updated 19 November 2018
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UN draft resolution calls for Yemen truce, two weeks to unblock Hodeidah port for aid shipments

  • Britain circulated the draft to the 14 other council members
  • The proposed resolution would significantly ratchet up the pressure to find a negotiated settlement in Yemen

UN, NEW YORK: A UN draft resolution on Yemen presented to the Security Council on Monday calls for an immediate truce in the port city of Hodeidah and sets a two-week deadline for removing all barriers to humanitarian aid, according to the draft seen by AFP.
Britain circulated the draft to the 14 other council members after hearing a report on Friday from a UN envoy working to arrange peace talks in Sweden to end the nearly four-year war.
A vote on the measure has yet to be scheduled.
The proposed resolution would significantly ratchet up the pressure to find a negotiated settlement in Yemen, where millions are on the brink of starvation.
The UN considers Yemen the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis and has warned that without a stop to the fighting, the country will face one of the worst famines in decades.
The draft text calls “on the parties to introduce a cessation of hostilities in Hodeidah governorate, to end all attacks on densely populated civilian areas across Yemen and to cease all missile and UAV attacks against regional countries and maritime areas.”
The Red Sea port of Hodeidah, which is controlled by the Iranian-backed Houthi militia and is a key point of entry for aid and imports to Yemen, has seen heavy fighting over the past weeks.
The text calls on warring sides to “facilitate the unhindered flow of commercial and humanitarian food, water, fuel, medicine and other essential imports across the country, including by removing within two weeks of the adoption of this resolution, any bureaucratic impediments that could restrict such flows.”
The truce would go into effect on the day of the adoption of the resolution.
Under the proposed measures, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres would report to the council within two weeks on the cessation of hostilities.
The council said it was ready to “consider further measures” to support a political solution the war, the draft said.
The measure calls for a large injection of foreign currency into the economy through the central back to support the collapsing currency and for salaries of civil servants, teachers and health workers to be paid within one month.
It supports a series of confidence-building measures aimed at paving the way to peace talks including the release of prisoners, the re-opening of the airport in the rebel-held capital Sanaa to commercial flights and strengthening the central bank.
Both sides are urged to engage with UN envoy Martin Griffiths, who is due to travel to Sanaa this week to finalize arrangements for the peace talks that he hopes to convene soon.
Yemen’s internationally recognized government said Monday it will take part in the talks, hours after the Houthi leader, Mohammed Ali Al-Houthi, said he was ready to freeze military operations.
The Saudi Arabian-led coalition has been fighting the Houthis in order to restore to power Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, whose government is recognized by the UN.
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt arrived Monday in Iran for the first time to discuss Tehran’s role in Yemen, meeting with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif.


Yemeni PM: Funds from Saudi Arabia, UAE should be managed to achieve intended goals

Updated 17 December 2018
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Yemeni PM: Funds from Saudi Arabia, UAE should be managed to achieve intended goals

  • The prime minister told the Saudi Press Agency that “Yemen has received large funds from Saudi Arabia and the UAE"
  • He also said any upcoming funds in 2019 should focus on supporting the economy and paying as many salaries as possible

JEDDAH: Yemeni Prime Minister Maeen Abdul Malek stressed on the importance of managing funds to Yemen from Saudi Arabia and the UAE to achieve the intended goals.
He said the main challenge facing the Yemeni government lies in its ability to continue paying the salaries of its employees, and “this is what the government is working on through allocating financial funds in this field as it's priority.”
The prime minister told the Saudi Press Agency that “Yemen has received large funds from Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the latest of which was the $500 million supply initiative, stressing the need to coordinate with international organizations working in Yemen to deliver aid.”
He also added that any upcoming funds in 2019 should focus on supporting the economy and paying as many salaries as possible, which will help the budget significantly.
“The challenges that will face Yemenis next year are big. We should not think of aid only, it is also necessary to think about helping the Yemeni economy and protecting it from further deterioration,” he said.
This, he added, also requires guarantees that contribute to the arrival of food aid, as well as looking into the activities and programs related to foreign organizations, with the aim of directing them to the areas in dire need of humanitarian and relief assistance.
The prime minister also pointed to the humanitarian impact that will result from the project of rehabilitation of the Al-Dalea road, which comes within the comprehensive humanitarian operations plan in Yemen and through the Isnad Center for Comprehensive Humanitarian Aid.