The United Nations Security Council has strongly condemned an attack by Houthi forces on a United Arab Emirates vessel operating near Bab al-Mandeb Strait on 1 October.
“The members of the Security Council take threats to shipping around Bab al-Mandeb, a strategically important shipping passage, extremely seriously,” a statement issued by the 15-member body said. The Council also stressed that the continued exercise of freedom of navigation in and around Bab al-Mandeb Strait in accordance with relevant international law must be upheld.
The members of the Security Council called for such attacks to cease immediately and urged necessary steps to be taken to de-escalate the situation.
They also reiterated their support to the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, to pursue his efforts to find a political solution to the conflict in Yemen.
To support the consultations of the Special Envoy, and avoid further loss of life, the members of the Security Council urged all parties to recommit to and fully respect the terms and conditions of the cessation of hostilities entered into on April 10, which will include a complete halt to ground and air military activities.
Further, the Council called on all sides to resume working through the De-Escalation and Coordination Committee to facilitate the strengthening of the cessation of hostilities.
Yemen has been engulfed in violence for several years now – a confrontation between the country’s Houthis (Ansar Allah) and the Government of Yemen in early 2014 led to a Houthi advance on the capital, and an ensuing conflict which has involved support from outside parties. The UN has been heavily involved in efforts to resolve the crisis.
While peace talks between a Yemeni Government delegation and a delegation of the General People’s Congress and Ansar Allah continued, serious violations have occurred in Marib, al Jawf, Taiz and in the border areas with Saudi Arabia. Those UN-facilitated talks ended on 6 August.