Yemen truce holding, but full measures still not in place |
The ambassadors were briefed by two top UN officials with an update on the impact of the agreement between the government and the Houthis, which has been extended by two months, and outlined the challenges. consciousness still exists.
Grundberg outlined for #UNSC the plan includes working with the parties to consolidate and implement all elements of the truce, to achieve more permanent solutions and initiate economic & security negotiations; He stressed that this work should lead to a political settlement.
– @OSE_Yemen (@OSE_Yemen) June 14, 2022
“The truce has now been kept in Yemen for two and a half months, something unprecedented in this war and something that seemed unthinkable earlier this year,” speak Hans Grundberg, UN Special Envoy for Homeland, commended the parties.
There have been no confirmed airstrikes in Yemen, or cross-border attacks originating from the country, since the truce was first announced in April. Civilian casualties have also been reported. significantly reduced, he reported.
However, casualties from landmines and unexploded ordnance are increasing as people venture into contaminated frontline areas that were previously inaccessible.
Despite the overall reduction in skirmishes, the UN also continues to receive reports of alleged violations from both sides, including shelling, drone strikes, reconnaissance and deployment. back force.
Several armed clashes have also been reported, mainly in the states of Ma’rib, Taiz and Hodeidah.
A military coordination committee, consisting of representatives from both sides and pro-government coalition forces, meets monthly to resolve issues in a timely manner.
Flight and fuel
After six years of closure, commercial flights have taken off from the airport in the capital Sana’a to Amman, Jordan and Cairo, Egypt. Fuel also continued to flow steadily through the important port of Hodeidah.
More than 480,000 tonnes of fuel passed through the port in April and May – more than the amount imported in the whole of 2021.
“The steady supply of fuel has eased the pressure on critical services, significantly reducing the queues at gas stations that dominate Sana’a’s streets and allowing for a steady stream of fuel,” said Mr. Grundberg. allowing Yemenis to travel more easily across the country.
One important issue that stands out is open road for Taiz, and other governments. The roads currently open are “long and arduous”, he said, recalling the six-hour journey from Aden to the city of Taiz, which took half the time before the seven-year conflict between the forces. Houthi rebels and the internationally recognized government.
The working road ahead
After the meeting in Amman with the two sides, the UN special envoy presented a proposal for the phased reopening of the roads, including the implementation mechanism and commitments to the safety of the roads. civilian tourists. He has received a “positive response” from the Government and is waiting for an answer from the Houthis, officially known as the Ansar Allah movement.
Mr. Grundberg warned that recent weeks have revealed the fragility of the armistice, and delaying the full implementation could cause the deal to go bankrupt.
“Using transactionalism, threatening the conditions of one element of the armistice against another, and using rhetoric in the media, undermine the truce. . Ultimately, the parties defend the truce and fulfill their promises for the sake of the Yemeni people,” he said.
Enforcement has also raised “more contentious issues with political implications”, such as around revenue management, civil sector wages, travel documents and a cease-and-desist order. Shoot longer.
‘A rare opportunity’
Mr Grundberg told the Council he would move forward on two fronts in the coming weeks. He will work with the parties towards the full implementation of the truce and to provide more lasting solutions to the country’s pressing economic and security problems, which require continued support. of the Council.
“However, in the end, it is up to the parties to seize this opportunity, negotiate in good faith and make the necessary compromises for the sake of the whole of Yemen as a whole is up to the parties. The truce offers a rare opportunity to move towards peace that cannot be lost“I said.
Humanity needs to be connected
Ghada Mudawi, a senior official of the UN humanitarian agency, OCHAalso called on the Council to address the dire needs in a country of 19 million people who are hungry, with more than 160,000 people on the brink of starvation.
“The humanitarian crisis of Yemen today is as serious as it was before the armistice. In reality, The crisis may soon turn ugly. Allowing this to happen would run counter to the momentum the ceasefire has created and could weaken prospects for further progress,” she said.
The people of Yemen are being squeezed by skyrocketing food prices stemming from Russia’s war in Ukraine, and the depreciating currency has made the situation worse, while a large gap still exists in services. such as water, health and education. More than four million Yeminis have been uprooted, of which more than 7,000 have fled in the past two months.
“The replacement during the armistice period was mainly due to people who are looking for work and adequate food. People also fled due to clashes in some areas despite the truce. We hope the extended ceasefire will see a more comprehensive end to the skirmishes, including any localized clashes,” said Ms. Mudawi, Acting Director of Advocacy and OCHA advocacy said.
Restrictions on aid workers
At the same time, aid agencies are also facing access restrictions in Yemen. In fact, there have been more restrictions on their movement in recent months, mainly due to local government regulations in some areas.
Security is another concern for humanitarians when trying Carjackings, kidnappings and other attacks are on the rise, sometimes forcing them to shut down. The United Nations has called for the immediate release of two staff members arrested and detained last November in Sana’a, controlled by the Houthis, and five staff members abducted from the Abyan government in February. .
Amid these challenges, Humanitarians continue to provide aid up to 11 million people across Yemen each month, but the UN response plan is currently underfunded – another major threat that has led to cuts in food assistance and downsizing of many essential programs. .
Later this month, Sweden and the European Commission will hold a meeting to discuss humanitarian challenges in Yemen, a move Ms. Mudawi welcomed in the Council.