US Joins Security Council To End Fighting In Yemen
As turmoil continues to engulf Yemen, the Security Council finally made drastic steps to address the prevailing issues faced by the Middle East country.
In her remarks in New York City, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Samantha Power said the Security Council is now united to address the dire political, humanitarian, and human rights challenges in Yemen.
“But listening to the remarks here this morning, one thing is clear: that the Security Council is united on Yemen.” – Ms. Power
Three Important Messages Sent by the Security Council
According to Ms. Power, the Security Council sent relevant messages to the world about Yemen.
First, the Council called for all sides to facilitate access to life-saving humanitarian aid for 80% of the Yemeni population in need of basic goods like food and water.
The suffering is made worse by by restrictions and impediments to access – which are preventing assistance from getting through, from reaching those who need it most, and in so doing causing dramatic price increases in the markets.
“This has to stop. Recent events have shown that access can be improved even in the absence of a lasting political agreement.” – Ms. Power
She pointed out that after the lifting of restrictions on commercial vessels entering the country in October, food imports finally returned to pre-crisis levels, as Madam Kang reported.
In addition, more ships are now reaching many of Yemen’s ports to deliver their cargo. Also, more than a hundred trucks were finally allowed passage into Taiz, delivering drinking water, food, medicine, and other basic supplies.
Secondly, Ms. Power said the Council also reaffirmed its conviction that the crisis will be solved not through military action, but through political dialogue.
Ms. Power said such political dialogue will lead to peace only if all parties fully commit to its success and are willing to make hard compromises.
“But for the sake of the Yemeni people, the warring parties must now come together to engage in good faith.” – Ms. Power
She highlighted that the parties must be prepared to show flexibility and adhere to compromises once the talks conclude. Even when there may be provocations on the ground.
Third, Ms. Power said the Council made clear that all sides must commit to a de-escalation of the hostilities and a lasting ceasefire.
“The ceasefire that began last week was imperfect, but it was a step.” – Ms. Power
In addition, to bolster this ceasefire, Ms. Power noted that all parties will send empowered representatives to the UN’s proposed Coordination and De-escalation Committee without delay.
Turmoil Claimed 2,700 Lives
According to Ms. Power, in nine months of fighting in Yemen, 2,700 civilian deaths were recorded.
The US called for both parties to improve access, to de-escalate hostilities, and to commit to a lasting ceasefire.
“The parties have a chance to end the conflict now, and the United States joins the other members of this Security Council in urging them to do so.” – Ms. Power
Humanitarian Crisis Hit Yemen
The humanitarian crisis engulfed Yemen as the result of the Houthi rebels and the deadly airstrikes by Saudi Arabia which began in March 2014 against the Arabian Peninsula country.
According to the United Nations, the country’s children are at high risk of diseases and malnutrition due to the prevailing food security crisis. In fact, the world’s body declared the humanitarian crisis the worst and in “Level 3” category.
Records show that more than 21.1 million citizens of Yemen need aid, 13 million face food shortages and 9 million have little or no access to water.
In March last year, an Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia launched air strikes over Yemen to counter the Iran-backed coup d’etat by the Houthis which took place on February 6, 2015. It was reported the kingdom deployed 100 fighter jets, 150,000 soldiers and navy units in “Operation Decisive Storm.”