UAE says UN must hold Houthis to peace commitments in Yemen

UN Security Council meeting will discuss sending 75 monitors to the ports of Hodeidah

FILE PHOTO: Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs for the United Arab Emirates, speaks at an event in London, Britain July 17, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall/File Photo
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The UN must take a firm stance against the Houthi rebels and their commitment to implementing the provisions of a historic peace deal reached in Sweden, UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said on Wednesday.

UN envoy Martin Griffiths is expected to brief the Security Council on Wednesday as government forces report an increase in Houthi attacks and the arrival of rebel reinforcements in the port city of Hodeidah despite a ceasefire agreement reached during peace talks in Sweden.

“The Security Council meeting today is vital, the UN must be clear and firm towards the Houthis commitment to withdraw from Hodeidah,” Dr Gargash said on Twitter.

The briefing will discuss a proposal for a new observer mission to monitor a ceasefire deal in the port city and to oversee a withdrawal of forces. According to the proposal, the new mission will deploy up to 75 monitors to the ports of Hodeidah, Saleef and Ras Isa, backed by additional administrative and security staff.

The observers will monitor the commitment of the parties to the truce and the mutual redeployment of forces from the city and three ports.

Yemen’s international recognised government fears that coast guards in the port may remain loyal to the Houthis even after their withdrawal from the area.

“The Houthi's manipulation of the deal threatens the next steps of Yemen's political process and jeopardises the opportunity for peace in Yemen,” Dr Gargash said.

Hodeidah’s truce calls for the deployment of international monitors in the ports and the establishment of a Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC), chaired by retired Dutch General Patrick Cammaert, who will oversee the implementation of the accord.

The general was scheduled to hold a meeting on Tuesday evening in eastern Hodeidah with the RCC members to discuss the next steps of the deal, but Houthi representatives refused to show up.

"During a private meeting with the government committee, General Patrick expressed deep disappointment and said the Houthis are wasting a golden opportunity," a Yemeni government official told The National.

The government presented a potential plan to the general for the withdrawal from the city, as well as the opening of a humanitarian corridor if the Houthis commit to what was agreed in Sweden, the official said.


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