New York, NY (December 21, 2018) – In response to the adoption of a new UN Security Council resolution on the situation in Yemen which, along with recent peace talks in Stockholm, brings much-needed momentum behind efforts to end the devastating conflict in Yemen, Executive Director of Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC), Federico Borello, stated:
“Today, the Security Council has taken an important step to address the dire situation in Yemen. There is no time to lose in implementing this resolution and the agreements reached in Stockholm. The lives of millions of Yemenis, who are teetering on the brink of a catastrophic and unprecedented famine, depend on the full implementation of the resolution and meaningful progress in the peace talks.
“The parties to the conflict must ensure the ceasefire in Hodeidah governorate holds. Maximum restraint is needed at this pivotal moment. The UN will play a crucial role in monitoring the ceasefire and the redeployment of forces from Hodeidah, and the international community must rally behind the efforts of the monitoring team and the UN’s Special Envoy to shore up this ceasefire.
“Protecting Yemeni civilians from further violence must be the top priority. The Council resolution calls on all parties to uphold their obligations under international humanitarian law. These obligations are non-negotiable. This means that all attacks against civilians must stop and all feasible precautions be taken to minimize harm to civilians.
“The gravity of the humanitarian situation facing Yemenis demands urgent action on a number of fronts. The port of Hodeidah – and all Yemeni ports for that matter – must be open and stay functioning, and Sana’a airport must be re-opened. These are vital lifelines for the people of Yemen and the delivery of desperately-needed humanitarian aid. The siege of Taiz must also be lifted without delay. Unimpeded humanitarian access is essential.
“It is unfortunate that the Council could not agree on calls for transparent, credible, and timely investigations into violations of international humanitarian law in Yemen. This is essential to ensure justice for the victims of this war. We urge all parties to the conflict to investigate any alleged violations and hold those found responsible to account.
“The Stockholm agreements and today’s Security Council resolution are a step in the right direction to re-engage on a settlement to end the war. The words in the resolution should be translated into action without any delay.”