Houthis continue to violate Stockholm Agreement, deterring peace in Yemen


NEW YORK, 1st February, 2019 (WAM) -- In a letter to the United Nations Security Council, the Saudi-led Arab Coalition has shared its concerns on Iran-backed Houthi violations and their impact on the implementation of the Stockholm Agreement.

In the letter, delivered to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday, the Arab Coalition expressed its alarm over the persistent and deliberate violations of the agreement by the Houthi militias.

Commenting on the meeting, Dr. Anwar Gargash, the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, said, "We have a distinct opportunity to address the Yemen crisis."

"The UN role is critical," he continued, adding that the Arab Coalition members will continue to support the UN and its work.

"We must make Stockholm work," Gargash stressed.

Since the Agreement, the Iran-backed militias have committed 1,038 violations, reinforcing their military positions among civilian populations. Attacks targeting civilian populated areas have killed a total of 74 individuals, and wounding 563 others.

The Houthis have also failed to withdraw from the ports as agreed in Stockholm.

"All these actions are direct violations of several provisions of the Stockholm Agreement and Resolution 2451 (2018)," the Coalition added.

One of the most blatant violations, the Coalition noted, was the targeting of the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC) on 17th January, in an attempt to intimidate RCC members. The RCC plays a central role in implementing the Stockholm Agreement.

Among the multitude of violations, the Coalition noted that the Iran-backed Houthis continue to block the passage of major humanitarian relief convoys, despite vessels being cleared by the UN Verification and Inspection Mechanism in Hodeidah and Al Saleef ports.

According to the Coalition, a mortar shell was launched from Houthi controlled territory on 24th January, striking a grain silo at the Red Sea Mills, destroying thousands of tonnes of grain. The silo is the most critical food storage site in Hodeidah.

This attack is a "callous disregard" for the well-being of Yemenis, the Coalition reiterated.

The Stockholm agreement is made up of key elements, among them a prisoner swap, the creation of a demilitarised zone around Yemen’s vital Red Sea trade corridor through a series of withdrawals by Houthi militias, and the formation of a committee to discuss the future of Taiz.

WAM/Nour Salman/MOHD AAMIR