Griffiths to UNSC: worrying signs, despite first concrete step in Hodeida

New York (Debriefer)
2019-05-16 | Since 3 Month

Griffiths briefing the UN Security Council, 15 March 2019

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There are worrisome signs over the conflict in Yemen, the UN especial envoy said Wednesday, despite first concrete step in the Red Sea city of Hodeida.

Yemen is still at crossroads between war and peace, despite the progress made in the last days, after Houthi forces had redeployed from the ports of Hodeida, Salif and Ras Isa, Martin Griffiths added in his briefing to the UN Security Council. While ceasefire remains standing in Hodeida, there is worrying escalation of conflict in many aspects.

Change in Hodeida is now a reality, and there are signs of new start in Hodeida, he said. "Between 11 and 14 May, Ansar Allah had undertaken initial redeployment from the ports of Hodeida, Salif and Ras Isa under UN monitoring," and Houthi forces "had left those three ports."

"With the continuous commitment of theparties and the coalition,theswift and decisive support from thisCouncil and the stewardship General Michael's mission (UNMHA), we have seen the first concrete step towards the implementation of those good words in Sweden in December."

Yemen has been racked by a 4-year bloody conflict between the internationally-recognized Yemeni government's forces, backed by a Saudi-led coalition, and the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels who ousted the government in 2014.

Progress recently achieved in Yemen's peace efforts will enable the UN to assume its key role in supporting the Red Sea Ports Corporation to manage and inspect the ports, including enhancing the role of the UN mechanism for verification and inspection, said Griffiths, adding that the UN inspectors are prepared for deployment.

The UN envoy, however, warned of consequences,resulted from any relapse of peace efforts, to the gains hardly made in settlement. There are glimpses of hope, and nothing should preventthe recentredeployment to be hailed.

The redeployment should be followed by decisive acts by the warring parties to fulfill their commitments under Stockholm Agreement, he added, This is only the beginning, and parties should maintain the current momentum by applying the mutual redeployment next steps, which would be verified and monitored by both sides.

Griffiths called on the Yemeni rivals to agree on an action plan for the Hodeida redeployment second phase.

Parties to the 4-year war in Yemen, after 8-day peace talks in Sweden, reached on the 13th of last December an agreement providing for ceasefire in Hodeida and redeployment of both sides' forces, exchanging prisoners and alleviating blockade imposed by Houthis on Taiz.

But none of this has taken place so far, with both sides trading blames for trying to thwart the deal.

The Red Sea city of Hodeida and its ports have been under Houthi control since late 2014, while Yemeni joint forces loyal to legitimate government and Arab coalition have massed at the city's fringes since last November seeking to retake the strategic port.

In his Wednesday briefing, the UN envoy dubbed the escalation in Dhalea as a development threatening the peace process, arguing that only an inclusive solution would achieve peace in Yemen.

Yemen 4-year war has triggered what the UN calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with most of the population in need for a type of humanitarian aid and immediate protection, including 14 million people risking famine and some 1.8 million children suffering malnutrition.

Griffiths also called for women to be involved in peace process, to make put an end for the war.

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