Towards A Real Humanitarian Truce in Yemen

  • 12 July 2015

Peace loving people in the Arab and Islamic countries, and around the world, hope that efforts of the United Nations, UN Security Council, and human rights organizations succeed in achieving the objectives of the UN resolution declaring a new humanitarian truce in Yemen. The ceasefire took effect on Friday and will continue till the end of the holy month of Ramadan coinciding with the 17th of July. This is important as the Houthi rebels and their allies have committed military and security violations and continued military occupation of many cities besides imposing blockade and preventing humanitarian and relief from reaching some 22 million Yemenis battling the worst humanitarian and civic challenges.

It is obvious that achieving the objectives of this truce require that the Houthis and their allies commit to its terms and conditions and withdraw from cities and neighborhoods to their positions before the military coup through which they overthrew a legitimate regime nine months ago. They must lift the siege which is preventing the supply of humanitarian and relief aid to the people in various areas of Yemen, particularly in the southern and central governorates. Perhaps the international community, represented by UN bodies, realizes the extent of rebellion and rejection of dialogue being practiced by the Houthis and their allies in violation of the UN resolution No. 2216. When Saudi Arabia initiated truce in May the Arab coalition forces committed to the ceasefire and suspended all military action. However, rebels and their allies carried out more attacks in southern Saudi cities bordering Yemen. Taking advantage of the situation, they also expanded their presence in other cities, and reorganized and trained with the forces of formerpresident Ali Abdullah Saleh.

It is hoped that if the UN Security Council wants to achieve the objectives of this truce in Yemen it must save its people from indiscriminate shelling by rebels in cities such as Aden, Taiz, Marib, Dali, and Shabwa. Regulatory mechanisms must be put in place to end the crime being committed by the Houthis against women, children and the elderly. The estimated number of affected people in the country stands at about 22 million people, which is around 80 percent of the population. A statement issued by the UN recently indicates that in the last three months, about 3,000 people have been killed in Yemen, 14,000 wounded and over a million have been forced to flee their homes.

The Arab coalition leadership has called for this truce to be permanent. It should also be based on international legal references, the first of which is the implementation of the UN resolution No. 2216, which was issued under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. This ensures international supervision for transparent implementation of resolutions so that the world separates the advocates of war from those of peace and prevents the crime committed by Houthis and their ally Ali Abdullah Saleh. The world will also acknowledge the efforts made by the country’s legitimate government for the success of national dialogue, in drafting of the Constitution, and in implementing international resolutions for the security, stability, peace and prosperity of the Yemeni people.