Security Council Calls for ‘Immediate’ Implementation of Hodeidah Agreement

Saturday, 23 February, 2019 - 06:00
New York - Ali Barada

The United Nations Security Council has called for the “immediate implementation of phase one” of the Stockholm Agreement, which was struck between Yemen’s legitimate government and Iran-backed Houthi militias near the Swedish capital in December, on the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah.

In a press statement, Council members “stressed the critical importance of the parties implementing” commitments made in Stockholm “without delay for the sake of the Yemeni people.”

They “reaffirmed their full support for the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen and the Chair of the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC) and called on all parties to continue to engage in good faith with them both.”

The statement, which was issued Friday by Council President Anatolio Ndong Mba, “welcomed the progress” made by the parties in the RCC meeting of February 16-17 “on planning for the redeployment of forces as envisaged in the Hodeidah Agreement.”

“They welcomed the agreement reached on phase one of the mutual redeployment of forces from the ports of Saleef, Ras Issa and Hodeidah, as well as from critical parts of the city associated with humanitarian infrastructure.”

They called for the “immediate implementation” of that phase and welcomed agreement by the parties “in principle” to phase two of the mutual redeployment of forces.

The statement called on the warring sides to continue their constructive engagement with Danish General Michael Lollesgaard, the chair of the RCC, and to redouble efforts during the next meeting in the coming days to urgently finalize agreement on phase two.

It also “stressed the importance of urgent access to humanitarian facilities, including the Red Sea Mills, and welcomed the arrangements agreed by the parties in the RCC meeting on February 16-17 in that regard.”

“They noted with concern the operational constraints being faced by humanitarian actors in Yemen” and “reiterated their grave concern about the continued deterioration of the humanitarian situation across” the country.

Around 24 million people in Yemen (80 per cent of population) are in need of humanitarian assistance, Council members said.

They “called on the parties to facilitate the rapid, safe and unhindered flow of commercial and humanitarian supplies and personnel into and across the country” and urged the international community to consider additional funding for the 2019 UN Humanitarian Response Plan.

The Council expressed concern at continued reports of ceasefire violations, calling on the parties “to seize this opportunity to move towards sustainable peace by exercising restraint, de-escalating tensions, honoring their commitment to the Stockholm Agreement and moving forward with its swift implementation.”

They recalled their request to UN Chief Antonio Guterres to report on non-compliance, by any party, with resolutions 2451 and 2452 and noted their readiness to consider “further measures” against those obstructing the Stockholm Agreement's implementation.

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