A resolution on Yemen was drafted and presented to the United Nations Security Council on Monday, calling for an immediate ceasefire in Hodeidah port city, and also setting a two-week deadline for removing all barriers to humanitarian assistance.
Great Britain distributed the draft to the fourteen other council members after hearing a report on Friday from the UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths, who is currently working to organize the upcoming peace talks between Yemen warring parties in Sweden in a bid to end the four-year conflict that has dragged the country into the worst humanitarian situation in the world. A vote on the measure has yet to be scheduled.
The draft resolution would greatly ratchet up the pressure to find a negotiated settlement in Yemen, where millions are on the brink of famine.
Meanwhile. the United Nations considers Yemen the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis and has warned that without a stop to the fighting, the country will face one of the worst famines in decades.
The draft text calls “on the parties to introduce a cessation of hostilities in Hodeidah governorate, to end all attacks on densely populated civilian areas across Yemen and to cease all missile and UAV attacks against regional countries and maritime areas.”
The Houthi-controlled port city of Hodeidah, which is the main entry for humanitarian assistance as well as for commercial imports to the poorest Arab nation, has witnessed over the past couple of weeks the most violent clashes and confrontations.
Moreover, the text calls on warring sides to “facilitate the unhindered flow of commercial and humanitarian food, water, fuel, medicine and other essential imports across the country, including by removing within two weeks of the adoption of this resolution, any bureaucratic impediments that could restrict such flows.”
The truce would go into effect on the day of the adoption of the resolution.
As for this, and under the proposed measures, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres would report to the council within two weeks on the cessation of hostilities.
The council said it was ready to “consider further measures” to support a political solution the war, the draft said.
The measure calls for a large injection of foreign currency into the economy through the central back to support the collapsing currency and for salaries of civil servants, teachers and health workers to be paid within one month.
It supports a series of confidence-building measures aimed at paving the way to peace talks including the release of prisoners, the re-opening of the airport in the rebel-held capital Sanaa to commercial flights and strengthening the central bank.
All parties are urged to engage with UN envoy Martin Griffiths, who is due to travel to Sanaa this week to finalize arrangements for the peace talks that he hopes to convene soon.
The legitimate internationally-recognized government said Monday it will take part in the talks, hours after the Houthi leader, Mohammed Ali Al-Houthi, said he was ready to freeze military operations.
The KSA-led Arab Coalition has been fighting the Iran-backed Houthi militia in order to restore to power Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, whose government is recognized by the UN.
Foreign Secretary of Britain Jeremy Hunt has arrived today in Iran for the first time to discuss Tehran’s role in Yemen, meeting with Mohammad Javad Zarif, his Iranian counterpart.