Yemen: Security Council demands militants’ withdrawal from north-western city

Security Council President, Ambassador Eugène-Richard Gasana of Rwanda. UN Photo/Mark Garten

11 July 2014 – Amid a serious deterioration of the security situation in Yemen due to ongoing turmoil in the country’s restive northwest, the United Nations Security Council today demanded that Al Houthi militants, all armed groups and parties involved in the violence disarm, withdraw and relinquish control of [the city of] Amran.

Deeply regretting the high number of casualties caused by the violence, the Council, in a statement to the press by the 15-member body’s President, Eugene Richard Gasana of Rwanda, demanded that the armed groups “hand over weapons and ammunition pillaged in Amran to the national authorities loyal to the Government.”

There are reports of more than 200 civilians, including women and children, having been killed, and thousands of people are reportedly trapped inside the conflict zone in Amran City, unable to flee the fighting, according to the statement.

The latest escalation follows a ceasefire that came into force in Amran Governorate on 4 June after several days of heavy fighting between Government forces and Al Houthi militants in areas surrounding Amran City.

Calling for the existing ceasefire agreements to be swiftly implemented, the Council asked military units to remain committed to their obligation of neutrality at the service of the State.

The Council encouraged all parties, in line with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Initiative and National Dialogue outcomes, “to take these steps and to participate peacefully in the transition. They demanded that the current turmoil should not extend to other parts of the country, including Sana’a.”

In their statement, Council members noted with concern that “spoilers continue to stoke the conflict in the north in an attempt to obstruct the political transition.” In that light, the Council recalled its resolution 2140 (2014) that introduced targeted sanctions measures against individuals or entities engaging in or providing support for acts that threaten the peace, security or stability in Yemen.

The Council also urged the Panel of Experts as they discharge their duties in accordance with the resolution to look into these spoilers as a matter of urgency and to present expeditiously relevant recommendations to the Committee established pursuant to the resolution 2140.

Reminding all parties to comply with their obligations under applicable international humanitarian and human rights law, the Council stressed the need for all sides to facilitate safe and unhindered humanitarian access to evacuate the wounded and to ensure the delivery of assistance to all populations in need.

Finally, the Council expressed support to President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi as he leads the political transition and encouraged continued efforts to find a peaceful political solution to the conflict in the north based on the outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference.

“The members of the Security Council urged all parties to continue to work together to progress Yemen’s transition,” concluded the statement.


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