UN-led Yemen ceasefire monitoring team gets ready to begin operations

WFP/Fares Khoailed The Amity vessel in the Hudaydah port. The port of Hudaydah is Yemen’s lifeline and the only way that food and fuel get into the country. 26 July 2018.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

A UN-led team tasked with overseeing  the ceasefire  which came into effect on Tuesday around a number of critical Yemeni ports, has begun planning operations with a conference call to discuss the general outlines of its work, including agreement of a code of conduct, the UN Spokesperson said on Wednesday.

The Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC) is led by retired Major General Patrick Cammaert, who previously served in a variety of peacekeeping roles at the United Nations, including as Force Commander of the former Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE), and Military Adviser to UN peacekeeping (DPKO).

The RCC members are drawn from military and security representatives of the Yemeni Government and the Houthi militia, with General Cammaert in the role of Chair. In addition, several international observers may be deployed in the city and port of Hudaydah, as well as Saleef and Ras Isa: these ports are critical to the delivery of aid to the country, which has for months now, been home to the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric told reporters at UN Headquarters that General Cammaert had “reiterated the commitment of the UN to help the parties to de-escalate tensions” and “highlighted the primacy of the humanitarian goal of the ceasefire and the importance of securing unhindered flow of humanitarian aid”, during the inaugural RCC briefing.

InTuesday’s briefing, Mr. Dujarric said that UN chief António Guterres was “breathing down the neck” of officials to make sure that the UN observers are deployed as soon as possible to monitor the ceasefire. The spokesperson said that General Cammaert has reiterated the importance of securing the unhindered flow of humanitarian aid through the ports, and the commitment of the UN to help the opposing parties fulfil their obligations and commitments, and to help them to de-escalate tensions.

General Cammaert will travel on Thursday to Amman, Jordan, with a small advance team, and from there to the Yemeni Capital of Sana’a and Hudaydah. The spokesperson said that General Cammaert plans to convene a first face-to-face meeting with the Committee as soon as possible.

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