UN to vote on sending observers to war-torn Yemen

UN Security Council to vote on sending observers to Yemen
2 min read
21 December, 2018
Britain's draft text was subject to a week of particularly tough negotiations, with Russia threatening to use its veto.
Yemen's warring factions have agreed to meet again in late January for more talks [Getty]

The UN Security Council is expected to vote on Friday on sending observers to war-torn Yemen and endorsing the results of recent peace talks in Sweden, according to diplomats.

Britain's draft text was subject to a week of particularly tough negotiations, with Russia threatening to use its veto if a mention of Iran supporting Huthi rebel attacks - imposed by the United States - was not removed. 

In the final version to be voted upon, the phrasing "further condemning the supply, from Iran and others actors" became "from whatever source."

The UN-brokered peace negotiations last week saw Yemen's warring parties agree to a ceasefire and the withdrawal of fighters in the port city of Hodeida, a key gateway for aid and food imports.

Britain's Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt told parliament that his country would be putting forward a UN Security Council on the conflict in Yemen to be voted on.

"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”.

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

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

The Sweden talks marked the first attempt in two years to broker an end to the Yemen conflict, which has killed more than 10,000 people - though rights groups say the actual figure is five times higher.

Some 14 million people are at imminent risk of starvation in Yemen, according to UN estimates.

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