from the brain of: Libby Elizabeth

Oct 2021

Stockholm Agreement Jemen

Although the full transfer has not yet been completed, the agreement and the United Nations presence in Hudaydah have directly contributed to the reduction of hostilities and the improvement of the humanitarian situation, while providing opportunities for greater confidence in the prospect of ending the conflict. Prior to the Stockholm agreement, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warned that the destruction of the port would have been a “turning point” from which it would be impossible to avoid massive loss of life due to famine. UNICEF estimated that 300,000 children were at risk of starvation if the port was closed. But negotiations on the resolution had become tense, with the United States and Kuwait — the only Arab member of the Council and widely seen as an alternate for Saudi Arabia — demanding significant changes. The United States has requested the inclusion of a language on Iran`s role in the conflict, which has led to Russian objections and threats of veto in the Council. The U.S. has also insisted that Lowcock`s humanitarian requests be withdrawn and has argued that they complicate a simple process of confirming the Stockholm agreement. Following a confrontation involving the threat of a US veto, a lighter version of the resolution, which gave the UN a mandate, was due to be adopted on 22 December, but which made it clear that it would be difficult to maintain international consensus in the future. Several Yemeni factions have condemned the Houthi transfers and the WAY the UN is dealing with the post-Stockholm process, each for their own reasons. Some, including the Hadi government, fear that the UN`s APPROACH – leaving the Houthis as the most influential political and security agents in the city and port – will set the dangerous precedent for legitimising the Houthis` territorial control. [fn] Crisis Group interview, Yemeni government official, New York, May 2019.See footnote The hodeida agreement clearly states that this is not the case and that the agreement is not intended as a model for future negotiations, but this has not reassured the government or its political base. [fn] The agreement states that “this agreement shall not be considered a precedent to which reference may be made in subsequent consultations or negotiations”. “Agreement on the City of Hodeidah and Ports of Hodeidah, Salif, and Ras Isa”, Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary General for Yemen, 13.

Government supporters also ignore the rise of violence on other front lines during the war, as evidence that the Houthis are not interested in ending the war and as evidence of indenivity. [fn] In recent fighting in northern and southern Yemen, the Houthis have achieved a number of successes on the battlefield. In March 2019, they suppressed a brief rebellion by members of the Hajour tribe in Hajja governorate. In May, they launched an attack to retake territories in the southern governorate of al-Dhale that they had lost at the beginning of the war. . . .

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