LONDON: The UN Security Council on Monday highlighted the positive effects the ceasefire in Yemen is having on the country and its people.
The council said that since the implementation of the truce there has been a 60 percent reduction in casualties in the ongoing conflict and a four-fold increase in fuel shipments passing through Hodeidah port. In addition, the resumption of commercial flights to and from Sanaa has allowed 21,000 passengers to travel to receive medical treatment or reunite with their families.
Council members called on the Houthi militia and the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen to “urgently intensify, and be flexible in, the negotiations under the auspices of the UN to agree on an expanded truce that could be translated into a durable ceasefire.”
They urged both parties to intensify their engagement with UN’s special envoy to Yemen on all aspects of negotiations, and to “eschew conditionality, and ensure their economic experts work closely with the UN, to implement measures to tackle the economic and financial crises.”
The members of the Security Council welcomed the exceptional measures taken by Yemen’s government to avert fuel shortages in Houthi-controlled areas following a Houthi order that affected the established process for providing clearance for fuel shipments. They called on the Houthis to cooperate with UN-led efforts to identify a durable solution that can ensure the flow of fuel into the country.
The council condemned the Houthi militia’s recent attacks on Taiz, its military parade in Hodeidah and all “visible manifestations in violation of the Hodeidah agreement,” and urged both sides to uphold and respect human rights, including the protection of civilians, especially children.
Members called on both sides to work with the special envoy to reach an inclusive and comprehensive political settlement based on agreed references and under the auspices of the UN, and reiterated the importance of the “full, equal and meaningful participation of women in the peace process, including a minimum 30 per cent participation by women.”
They also highlighted the gravity of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the country and the ever-present danger of famine, while encouraging donors to fully fund the UN humanitarian response plan and support the efforts of the Yemeni government to stabilize the economy.
Council members reiterated their “deep concern about the catastrophic ecological, maritime and humanitarian risk posed by the Safer tanker,” a decaying storage vessel containing more than 1.14 million barrels of oil that has been moored in the Red Sea off the coast of Yemen with little or no maintenance since the war began in 2015.
They commended the pledges that have been made to help fund the UN operational plan for the vessel, which involves assistance from member state governments and the private sector. They underlined their expectation that the UN will be ready, as soon as the funding target has been reached, to immediately start work on the oil-transfer operation.