News ID: 236102
Published: 0339 GMT December 19, 2018

UK to put forward UN resolution to protect Yemen truce

UK to put forward UN resolution to protect Yemen truce

Britain will put forward a UN Security Council on the conflict in Yemen to be voted on later this week, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt told Parliament on Wednesday.

Hunt said a cease-fire around the Red Sea port of Hodeida agreed by warring parties during talks in Sweden last week was "highly fragile" but holding for now.

"I have instructed our mission in New York to resume working on a draft resolution with the Security Council partners with a view to adopting it later this week.

"We will ask the Security Council to vote on the draft in the next 48 hours," he said, adding that he had "urged all parties to stick to the terms agreed last week".

The resolution would endorse the terms of the agreement, authorize the UN "to monitor their implementation" and set out "urgent steps to alleviate the humanitarian crisis".

Yemen's warring parties blamed each other for violations of the UN-mediated cease-fire.

Residents reported shelling late on Tuesday, the first day of the truce, for nearly one hour on the eastern and southern outskirts of the Houthi-held Red Sea city, a lifeline for millions at risk of famine. Calm prevailed on Wednesday.

Houthi-run al-Masirah TV accused Saudi-backed forces of shelling several sites in Hodeida, including areas east of the airport. The United Arab Emirates news agency WAM quoted a Yemeni source as saying the Houthis fired mortar bombs and rockets at the May 22 Hospital in the eastern suburbs.

Three residents in the capital Sana’a, from where the Houthis ousted the government in 2014, said the Saudi-led coalition carried out several airstrikes on al-Dulaimi Air Base near Sanaa airport on Wednesday.

The ceasefire deal, which covers only Hodeida, will see international monitors deployed in the city and port with all armed forces pulling out within 21 days of the truce.

Hodeida, the main port used to feed Yemen’s 30 million people, has been the focus of fighting this year, raising fears abroad that a full-scale assault could cut off supplies to 15.9 million people suffering from severe hunger.

The war between the Houthis and troops loyal to former president Abd Rabboh Mansour Hadi escalated in 2015, when he fled into exile in Saudi Arabia and a Saudi-led military coalition intervened.

Since then, the war has killed some 10,000 people, according to the World Health Organization, although human rights groups say the real death toll could be five times as high.

The conflict has also pushed 14 million people to the brink of famine in what the United Nations describes as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

AFP and Reuters contributed to this story.



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