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Stockholm Agreement Yemen Date

Posted by Josh On October - 9 - 2021

The parties committed themselves to an immediate ceasefire in the city of Hudaydah and the ports of Hudaydah, Salif and Ras Issa for the deployment of armed forces, the securing of ports, the establishment of the Joint Coordination Committee for Redistribution, chaired by the United Nations, and the use of port revenues to support civil service salaries. The agreement also provided for an increased UN presence in the city of Hudaydah and the ports of Hudaydah, Salif and Ras Isa, which led to the establishment of the UN Mission in Support of the Hudaydah Agreement, unMHA, through Security Council Resolution 2452 (2019) adopted on 16 January 2019. The year 2019 started with high hopes within the international community thanks to the UN-sponsored Stockholm Agreement, concluded on 13 December 2018 after a week of negotiations in Sweden. Since the start of the major war in early 2015, this was the first-ever agreement between the Houthi movement, which controls most of Yemen`s population and a third of the country`s territory, on the one hand, and President Hadi`s internationally recognized government, the IRG, on the other. The main positive achievement of the Stockholm Agreement was on the Hodeida front. Fighting in Hodeidah has virtually ceased for nearly a year and the ceasefire has lasted for about 13 months. This is thanks to the presence on the ground of the United Nations Hodeida Support Mission [UNMHA], established in January 2019, whose mandate was extended for a further six months on 13 January 2020. Although it has faced significant difficulties and is in third place, it is now fully occupied and has set up four “observation posts” in the city of Hodeidah, which help to keep the area free of fighting and facilitate the transit of goods between the port and inland roads. The “deployment of the armed forces”, which required the deployment of armed forces on both sides and the transfer of the three ports to the local security forces, agreed by both sides and approved by the United Nations, was less successful. Of course, this formulation allowed each party to interpret the situation as it wanted, and that is exactly what it did.

The Hudaydah agreement prevented a potentially catastrophic offensive against the city and ports. The ceasefire, which entered into force on 18 December 2018, has contributed to a safer environment for the civilian population. An estimated 150,000 people who had left the city returned after the agreement was reached, with the ceasefire still largely holding. However, with international assistance, a partial emergency solution could still be found for the entire city of Hodeidah or part of it. For example, the parties could agree that both sides, as a means of moving to broader peace talks, would implement the first phase of the redistributions already discussed – the three ports and the critical part of the city for humanitarian access – with the second phase (which focuses on the rest of the city) remaining for later. The implementation of the first phase does not require a comprehensive agreement on local security forces. But it includes an agreement on a tripartite monitoring mechanism involving the Houthis, the Yemeni government and the United Nations, as well as an agreement on the identity of local security forces in the areas of the first phase and a port revenue management plan. The Hodeida element of this agreement has suffered a slightly better fate: Although the ceasefire is increasingly being violated in the governorate, Hodeida City itself has seen a remarkable drop in conflict, and the UN Hodeidah Agreement Mission (UNMHA) has sent observers to five crucial locations in and around the city itself.

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