Yemen: UN envoy outlines achievements and challenges in truce implementation |
The ambassadors were briefed by Hans Grundberg, Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Yemen, and Joyce Msuya, Deputy Head of the UN Relief Mission.
UN Envoy for #YemenHans Grundberg, summarized #UNSC about progress and obstacles in implementing the armistice, the path toward prolonging and extending the armistice and to a political settlement. Read his full statement: https://t.co/Rnoa4xbi46
– @OSE_Yemen (@OSE_Yemen) July 11, 2022
Mr. Grundberg outlined the achievements in the more than three months since the nationwide ceasefire was announced, the first in six years, as well as the challenges that continue to make the agreement a reality. economic.
‘Immerse yourself in detail’
The deal will be renewed in just three weeks and the special envoy will continue his pledge to push it forward.
He speakspoke via video link from Amman, Jordan.
“This is important. But it means we haven’t been able to invest much in the mission of consolidating and expanding the ceasefire to benefit more people and put Yemen on the path forward.” a permanent political settlement”.
The two-month extension of the truce was announced in April, coinciding with the start of the holy month of Ramadan. It was extended for two more months in June.
Civilian casualties down
During this time, Mr. Grundberg reports, Yemen has seen a “significant reduction” in civilian casualties. The number has 2/3 . off compared to three months before the start of the armistice. Today, conflict-related civilian casualties are mainly due to landmines and unexploded ordnance.
The UN continues to receive reports from both sides on alleged incidents such as direct and indirect fire, drone attacks, reconnaissance and the establishment of new fortifications and trenches. . The parties are also said to have sent reinforcements to several key front lines, including at Ma’rib, Hudaydah and Taiz.
Last week, military representatives held their latest meeting to discuss the creation of a Joint Coordination Room tasked with de-escalating incidents. They also appointed a working group to merge the proposals.
The ceasefire extension has also allowed the continued flow of fuel into the vital port of Hudaydah, the access point for most cargo to Yemen. Imports have helped avoid disruptions to essential public services that depend in part on fuel, such as water, health care, electricity and transportation.
Open the necessary path
Regarding freedom of movement, Mr. Grundberg hopes the parties will reach an agreement to pave the way in Taiz and other states.
“Opening the way is not just about easing humanitarian suffering and removing restrictions,” he said. “It is also about to begin normalizing the conditions of everyday life for Yemenis, including education, jobs, health services and the economy in general.”
Recently, “different parties” have announced the opening of the way, but the special envoy emphasized the need for the parties to work together through the process facilitated by the UN.
“While acting unilaterally may be a step in the right direction, agreement from both sides is crucial as paving the way requires ongoing coordination and communication to ensure that children roads are opened in a safe and sustainable way for people to pass through”.
Mr Grundberg further reported that the past weeks had seen “worryingly escalating rhetoric” by the parties about the benefits of the truce, describing it as “a dangerous move”. He called on all sides to exercise restraint and warned of what was at stake.
“Let’s be clear, the alternative to a ceasefire is a return to hostilities and potentially a period of increased conflict with all the predictable consequences,” he said. for the civilian population of Yemen and for regional security”.
Extend the deal
The UN special envoy will continue to work with the parties on the possibility of a longer extension and an expanded armistice. This will provide the time and opportunity to initiate serious discussions on economic, security and other priority issues.
While the truce represents a landmark step forward, it alone will not be enough to prevent a sharp increase in humanitarian needs in Yemen, including the risk of famine in some areas. .
That was the clear message Msuya sent to the Council. “Yemen’s humanitarian disaster is about to get much worse,” she speakcalls for greater international action.
Aid workers threatened
Demand is growing, both due to a collapsing exchange rate but also because of the war in Ukraine, which is threatening the supply chain of the country where nearly 90% of food is imported.
The working environment of humanitarians has also become more difficult and dangerous.
“Intimidation and incitement against aid agencies continues across Yemen. This is being fueled by misinformation amplified through social media, messaging apps and on some public forums,” she said.
However, funding is their biggest problem as a humanitarian response plan for the country is funded by less than 30%. Agencies such as the World Food Program (WFP) has been forced to cut rations for millions, even though hunger is worse than ever.
Need more resources
Funding for other emergency priorities is also lacking, including the United Nations’ $144 million plan to tackle the threat posed by the decomposing SAFER tanker. The ship, which is anchored off Yemen’s Red Sea coast, is holding more than a million barrels of oil and is in danger of breaking or exploding.
In addition, the United Nations Inspection and Verification Mechanism that facilitates commercial imports, is also running low on funds and will close in September, “adding more uncertainty to already existing supply chains.” restricted to food, fuel and other essential goods.”
Msuya recalled that senior donors and agency officials met recently in Brussels to review the challenges facing humanitarian response in Yemen.
“Participants called for better access, more de-mining, better program quality, closer monitoring of hunger risk, more development support, and strong advocacy,” she said. more, among other major goals.
“We couldn’t agree more. We also expect resources – political and financial – to be available to provide what we all agree are needed. ”