Security Council Approves Deployment of 75 Monitors to Hodeidah

Wednesday, 16 January, 2019 - 19:15
Asharq Al-Awsat

The United Nations Security Council approved on Wednesday the deployment of up to 75 observers to Yemen’s port city of Hodeidah for six months to monitor a ceasefire and redeployment of forces by the warring parties.

The 15-member Security Council last month authorized an advance monitoring team led by retired Dutch General Patrick Cammaert and asked UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to recommend a larger operation.

Guterres said up to 75 truce monitors would be needed and the Security Council adopted a British-drafted resolution on Wednesday to authorize that deployment. The resolution was unanimously adopted.

The operation will be known as the UN Mission to support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA).

After a week of UN-sponsored peace talks in Sweden in December, the Iranian-backed Houthi militias and legitimate Yemen government reached a ceasefire deal on Hodeidah.

It calls for the withdrawal of the militias from Hodeidah city and its three ports and redeployment of authorities that were there before the 2014 Houthi coup.

In a letter to the Security Council on Tuesday - seen by Reuters - Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen accused the Houthis of 573 violations of the ceasefire, leading to the death of 41 coalition forces and wounding of another 396.

“The coalition hopes that the deployment of an increased number of UN monitors will help to ensure greater compliance by the Houthis,” they wrote.

The Houthis have so far not been cooperative with Cammaert’s team and the UN has also accused them of not honoring their commitments at the Sweden talks.

Despite the lingering differences, warring sides started talks on Wednesday in Jordan over a deal to free thousands of prisoners as part of UN-led peace efforts, two UN sources said.

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