UN Security Council considers measure demanding 30-day cease-fire in Syria

A photo taken on February 9, 2018 in the countryside of Idlib, where Syrian government forces are conducting a major offensive. (AFP)
Updated 10 February 2018
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UN Security Council considers measure demanding 30-day cease-fire in Syria

UNITED NATIONS: The UN Security Council is considering a draft resolution demanding a 30-day cease-fire in Syria to allow for urgent deliveries of humanitarian aid, according to the text seen by AFP on Friday.
Sweden and Kuwait presented the measure that would also demand an immediate end to sieges, including in Eastern Ghouta where a bombing campaign by government forces has killed more than 240 civilians in five days.
Earlier this week the council failed to back an appeal by UN aid officials for a month-long pause in fighting after Russia rejected the proposal.
Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said it was “not realistic” to impose a cease-fire because armed groups fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces were unlikely to uphold it.
Russia has repeatedly blocked action in the council that would target its ally in Damascus.
Diplomats said it was unclear whether Russia would resort to its veto to block the draft resolution proposing the 30-day truce.
The measure would demand that all parties in Syria allow medical evacuations 48 hours after the start of the humanitarian pause and that UN aid convoys be authorized to make weekly deliveries to civilians in need.
It calls on all parties to “immediately lift the sieges of populated areas” and that they “cease depriving civilians of food and medicine indispensable for their survival.”
UN aid officials accuse the Syrian government of blocking all aid convoys to besieged areas since January.
Western powers have expressed alarm over the government’s bombing campaign in rebel-held Eastern Ghouta, where 400,000 people have been living under siege since 2013.
The draft resolution expresses “outrage at the unacceptable level of violence escalating in several parts of the country,” in particular in Eastern Ghouta and Idlib.
Sweden and Kuwait, two non-permanent council members, are leading efforts to address the humanitarian crisis in Syria at the top UN body.
More than 13.1 million Syrians are in need of humanitarian aid, including 6.1 million who have been displaced within the country during the nearly seven-year war.


Yemen’s President Hadi appoints new ministers in government reshuffle

Updated 26 min 31 sec ago

Yemen’s President Hadi appoints new ministers in government reshuffle

  • Hadi appointed Ahmed Obaid Al-Fadhli as governor of the Central Bank of Yemen
  • appointed former ambassador Mohammed Abdullah Mohammed Al-Hadrami as Minister of Foreign Affairs

DUBAI: President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi issued a decree on Thursday evening appointing new foreign and finance ministers in a cabinet reshuffle to lead the key state institutions.

In a statement, the president's office, based in Saudi Arabia's capital of Riyadh, said that Hadi appointed Ahmed Obaid Al-Fadhli as governor of the Central Bank of Yemen, succeeding Hafedh Meyyad and Salem bin Breik as Minister of Finance, succeeding Minister Al-Fadhli.

The Yemeni president also appointed former ambassador Mohammed Abdullah Mohammed Al-Hadrami as Minister of Foreign Affairs, replacing Khalid Al-Yamani, who resigned last June.

Al-Fadhli becomes the fourth governor of the central bank since its relocation in Aden from the Houthi controlled capital, Sanaa.

The reshuffle comes amid escalating tension between the Hadi’s government and the pro-secession Southern Transitional Council (STC) that seized Aden and other neighboring provinces.