Yemen at the UN – September 2017 Review

Summary: In September, more than two dozen heads of state highlighted the plight of Yemenis and the need to end the conflict in speeches before the United Nations General Assembly. At the 36th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, a resolution was adopted to establish an international group of experts to investigate human rights abuses in Yemen since the beginning of the war. This comes after more than two years of lobbying by UN officials, UN member states and human rights groups for an international inquiry into war crimes in Yemen.    In Belgium, the European Union… Continue reading…

Yemen at the UN – August 2017 Review

Summary: In August, a confidential draft of the United Nation’s “Children and Armed Conflict” report recommended that the Saudi-led military coalition intervening in the Yemen war be named to the so-called “child killer” list. This annual UN list names government forces, terrorist organizations and armed groups that perpetrate wanton acts of violence against children in conflicts around the world. Through the latter half of August, the Saudi-led coalition staged various UN-affiliated events at which it emphasized the breadth and depth of its humanitarian assistance to Yemen.   A Yemen Sanctions Committee report last month said that the Saudi-led coalition was… Continue reading…

Yemen at the UN – July 2017 Review

Summary: In July, Yemen’s cholera epidemic became the largest ever recorded in one country in a single year, with the World Health Organization recording 430,000 suspected incidents and almost 2,000 associated deaths with the disease by month’s end. This comes following the UN declaring Yemen the world’s largest food security emergency earlier this year. Pro-government forces seized the Khalid bin Walid military base from Houthi fighters and the allied forces of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Taiz governorate last month, resulting in the most significant battlefield success for the Yemeni government since its forces captured the port city of… Continue reading…

Yemen at the UN – June 2017 Review

Summary In June, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) adopted a presidential statement regarding the Yemeni crisis – the first council outcome on Yemen in almost 14 months. A UNSC presidential statement, while important as a statement of council policy, is considered less weighty than a UNSC resolution and lacks the mandatory enforcement power of a Chapter 7 resolution. In the United States, a bipartisan effort in Congress to block the sale of precision guided munitions to Saudi Arabia – due to concerns they would be used against civilian targets in Yemen – narrowly failed to pass in a US… Continue reading…

Yemen at the UN – May 2017 Review

Summary: In May, a cholera epidemic swept Yemen at terrifying speed. Between the beginning and the end of the month the number of suspected cases of cholera and acute watery diarrhea (AWD) nearly tripled to 70,000, with some 600 associated deaths. At the beginning of June, UNICEF regional director Geert Cappelaere said that without significant intervention the number of cases could rise to 300,000 “within a few weeks’ time.” In Aden, political fallout and general unrest continued from President Abdo Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s decision in April to remove Aydarus al-Zubaydi from his post as governor of Aden. This included mass… Continue reading…

Yemen at the UN – April 2017 Review

Summary: In April, the Saudi-led military coalition’s proposed assault on the rebel-held Red Sea port of Hudaydah, and the likely humanitarian catastrophe it would precipitate, was again the focus of most international policy discussions regarding Yemen. By month’s end, however, widespread opposition to the operation within the US, at the UN, within the humanitarian community and elsewhere appeared to gain purchase with both the Saudi-led coalition and American policy makers contemplating United States military support for the action, with these latter two groups apparently re-evaluating Saudi-led coalition plans for an offensive and exploring political alternatives to the attack. On the… Continue reading…

Yemen at the UN – March 2017 Review

Summary In March, the prospect of a Saudi-led military coalition offensive on the rebel-held city of Hudaydah dominated Yemen-related policy discussions at the United Nations and in the United States. Discussions among UN Security Council member states generally centered around how such an offensive would radically exacerbate Yemen’s humanitarian crisis – given that Hudaydah is the main entry point for humanitarian and commercial goods, and that the country is already facing the world’s largest food security emergency. In the US the debate centered around whether the offensive would serve American interests in countering Iranian influence in the region, and to… Continue reading…

Yemen at the UN – February 2017 Review

Summary In February, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations stated that “Yemen is facing the largest food security emergency in the world”, and estimated that the country’s domestic reserves of wheat would be completely exhausted by the end of March 2017. The UN human rights commission raised credible reports that war crimes were committed by both the main warring sides during battles for the Red Sea port town of Mukha. These battles saw the forces backing Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi capture the town from the Houthi movement and its main ally, former President Ali Abdullah… Continue reading…

Yemen at the UN – January 2017 Review

Summary In January, the UN Special Envoy to Yemen Ismael Ould Cheikh Ahmed entered a period of shuttle diplomacy in an attempt revive the same peace proposal he’d put forward in December 2016 – a proposal Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi had at that time flatly rejected. The UN 2140 Sanctions Committee’s Panel of Experts reported last month that neither side in the conflict has “demonstrated sustained interest in or commitment to a political settlement or peace talks”, while pro-Hadi forces appear poised to further capitalize on recent battlefield advances. UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien said the Yemeni… Continue reading…

Yemen at the UN – December 2016 Review

Summary In December, the internationally recognized government of Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi officially rejected the latest UN proposal to end the conflict in Yemen. The Hadi government then laid out new conditions for any future peace agreement that effectively preclude the possibility of a negotiated end to the war. The Houthi movement and allied forces of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh sought out but failed to garner international recognition for their recently formed “Government of National Salvation” (GNS), following which the GNS was affirmed through a vote of confidence in the Houthi-Saleh controlled Parliament in Sana’a.     While… Continue reading…