Un Mission To Support The Hodeidah Agreement

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    The Security Council today extended the mandate of a United Nations political mission overseeing a peace agreement between the Government of Yemen and the Houthi militia in the port city of Hudaydah. As indicated by the mission`s full name, UNMHA was established to support last December`s Hodeidah agreement for a ceasefire in Hodeidah governorate, and the redeployment of Houthi rebel and Yemeni government forces from the port city of Hodeidah and nearby smaller ports of Saleef and Ras Issa. The agreement is part of the broader Stockholm agreement, which also included a prisoner exchange mechanism and a declaration of agreement on the city of Taiz, which have not made significant progress. The Hodeidah agreement helped to avert a major battle for the Houthi-held city and ports that could have cut off access through what is traditionally Yemen es most important entry point for imports, including food and fuel, and would thus worsen the humanitarian crisis. The mission, which oversees the city and port of Hudaydah, as well as the ports of Salif and Ra`s Issa, will continue to lead and support the Redistribution Coordination Committee to monitor the redistribution of armed forces, demining operations and the government-wide ceasefire agreement reached in Stockholm in December 2018. UNMHA will monitor compliance with the Hudaydah agreement and cooperate with them to ensure security by local forces in the city and port of Hudaydah, as well as in the ports of Salif and Ra`s Issa. Resolution 2534, which won the unanimous support of the 15-member council, decides that UNMHA continues to support the implementation of the Hodeidah agreement as set out in the December 2018 Stockholm Agreement between the Yemeni government and Houthi rebels. The draft resolution approves the composition and operational aspects of the mission proposed by the Secretary-General and establishes the mission for a first six-month period, with the following four-point mandate: last month, the Secretary-General wrote to the members of the Council to conduct a UNMART review. The review documents difficulties in setting up the mission, such as the operating environment in Hodeidah and the Houthi authorities` slow approval of visas for mission personnel and clearances for equipment, such that UNMHA “has just maintained its initial operational capacity to deliver on its mandate.” In accordance with the Secretary-General`s proposal of 31 December 2018 for the establishment of the mission, UNMHA will have up to 75 observers and other support staff. The draft resolution calls on the Secretary-General to send the mission quickly and to include the term “complete” in the text, which seems to implicitly indicate delays in the commissioning of unsealed CNUHA. The Secretary-General proposed establishing a UN mission to support the Hodeidah Agreement, made up of 75 UN observers and other support staff. It would be headed, according to the proposal, by General Patrick Cammaert as chair of the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC), which includes representatives of the Yemeni government and the Houthis and was established by the Hodeidah Agreement to oversee its implementation.