Lebanon’s water crisis continues to put children at risk
THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE TRUCE AND PROSPECTS OF ITS RENEWAL
The dire impact of Lebanon’s unrelenting socio-economic crisis prompted the UN Special Coordinator to warn the Security Council behind closed doors on Thursday, that the country stands at “a crossroad between rebound or collapse”.
Amman 21 July 2022 – The UN Special Envoy Hans Grundberg has intensified his engagements with the parties to support the implementation of all elements of the truce, and to explore possibilities for an expanded and extended truce beyond 2 August. “An extended and expanded truce will increase the benefits to the Yemeni people. It will also provide a platform to build more confidence between the parties and start serious discussions on economic priorities, particularly on revenues and salaries, as well as security priorities, including a ceasefire. Ultimately, the aim is to move toward a political settlement that comprehensively ends the conflict”, Mr Grundberg said.
Mr Grundberg noted that thanks to the continued commitment of the parties, the truce has largely held for almost four months, marking the longest period of relative calm in more than seven years and a significant decrease in the number of civilian casualties. Both sides have nevertheless raised concerns about alleged violations and incidents across multiple frontlines.
“The warring parties have obligations under international humanitarian law to protect civilians. I take reports of military escalation very seriously, especially when it involves civilian casualties. My office is working through the Military Coordination Committee to facilitate dialogue and support de-escalation. I hope the parties will continue their work under the committee and establish the joint coordination room to address incidents in a timely manner.”
At the outset of the negotiations, both parties put forward proposals to open roads in Taiz and other governorates, a positive sign of their willingness to engage in the talks.
The latest UN proposal included three roads put forward by Ansar Allah and one advocated for by civil society. The Government of Yemen accepted this proposal but Ansar Allah did not accept it. Recently, the parties have also announced their intention to open some roads unilaterally.
“Unilateral actions alone are not enough to ensure the safe and sustainable passage of civilians along roads that cross frontlines under the control of different parties, said Mr Grundberg. “The parties need to negotiate, coordinate and communicate with each other. I will not stop pursuing my efforts to bring the parties closer together to reach an agreement to sustainably and safely open key roads in Taiz and other governorates. This will remain a priority for this truce period and any future extension of it.”
As part of the truce, the parties agreed to two commercial flights per week between Sana’a, Amman and Cairo, amounting to 32 flights total during the four-month period. 20 round-trip flights so far have been operated between Sana’a and Amman and one roundtrip flight between Sana’a and Cairo carrying in total over 8,000 passengers. OSESGY is exploring options for connecting Sana’a airport with more destinations as a possible part of an extended truce beyond 2 August.
The truce stipulated that 36 fuel ships should enter Hudaydah during the four-month period. So far, between 2 April and 21 July, 26 fuel ships entered Hudaydah port carrying 720,270 metric tons of fuel derivatives. More fuel ships are under process. During the whole year of 2021, 23 fuel ships carrying less than 470,000 metric tons entered Hudaydah port.
“As global fuel prices are on the rise, it is more important than ever to ensure a smooth flow of fuel to support essential services,” said Mr Grundberg. “A renewal of the truce would see the regular and timely entry of fuel ships.”
“Moving away from seven years of war to a state of relative calm will not be without challenges, and there have been some shortcomings in fully implementing the elements of the truce. Nevertheless, the truce has been transformational for Yemen. It has made a tangible difference to people’s lives. The Yemeni people and the international community want and expect the truce to be fully implemented, renewed and strengthened. I hope the parties will engage constructively with my efforts and recognise the gains that an extended and expanded truce can deliver to the Yemeni people. They must rise to the occasion and not miss this opportunity”, Mr Grundberg said.
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