Author Archives: Mohammed Al-Zuhairi

UN monitoring team in Yemen verifies pullout of armed forces from crucial port zones

14 May 2019 – Peace and Security

 

The UN team set up to monitor the ceasefire agreement between warring parties in Yemen has formally verified the pullout of armed Ansar Allah, or Houthi forces, from port zones in the country that are crucial to the flow of humanitarian aid, describing cooperation they have received so far as “very good.”

The Chair of the UN support mission (UNMHA), Lieutenant General Michael Lollesgaard, released a statement on Tuesday, confirming that the redeployment of forces from Hudaydah, Salif and Ras Issa ports, part of the deal struck between Houthi leaders and the Yemeni Government, went ahead as agreed, albeit with some exceptions: security of the ports was handed over to the coast guard, but, he said, “a lot of work needs to be done” to remove  military hardware.

The Lt. Gen. reiterated that the actions of the Houthis forces are the first moves in the broader redeployments in Hudaydah, part of the UN-backed Agreement that both parties signed up to in December 2018.

The next steps in the UN’s implementation of the Hudaydah Agreement are expected to include a strengthened UN presence to support the management of Hudaydah, Salif and Ras Issa, and to strengthen UNVIM, the UN body responsible for monitoring ships attempting to dock in the ports.

Full implementation of the agreement is critical for returning peace and stability to Yemen, said Lt. Gen. Lollesgaard, and “ensuring effective humanitarian access into the country where millions continue to be in need of life-saving assistance.”

On Tuesday, Martin Griffiths, the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, met the warring parties in the Jordanian capital of Amman, to begin discussing the implementation of the economic provisions of the Hudaydah Agreement.

Issues to be discussed included the management of revenues from the ports of Hudaydah, Ras Issa and Salif, and their use for the payment of public sector salaries throughout the country.

بعثة الأمم المتحدة لدعم اتفاق الحديدة (أونمها) – بيان من رئيس لجنة تنسيق إعادة الانتشار

الحديدة، اليمن-14 أيار 2019

زار اليوم رئيس لجنة تنسيق إعادة الانتشار، الفريق مايكل لوليسجارد، موانئ الحديدة والصليف ورأس عيسى للتحقق من إعادة انتشار قوات أنصار الله (الحوثيين). هذا وتقوم فِرق الأمم المتحدة بمراقبة عملية إعادة الانتشار هذه والتي تم تنفيذها، جزئيًا على النحو الذي اتفقت عليه الأطراف اليمنية ضمن مفهوم المرحلة الأولى.

ويرحب الفريق لوليسجارد بتسليم أمن الموانئ لخفر السواحل وبالجهود المبذولة لإزالة جميع المظاهر العسكرية من المنشآت، حيث لا يزال هناك الكثير من العمل الذي يتعين القيام به لإزالة هذه المظاهر، لكن التعاون كان وما زال جيدًا للغاية.

ان هذه خطوات أولى مهمة باعتبارها جزء من عمليات إعادة الانتشار الأوسع في الحديدة التي أعرب كلا الطرفين اليمنيين عن استمرار التزامهما بها. ويحث الفريق لوليسجارد الطرفين على الانتهاء من المفاوضات المعلقة للسماح بالتنفيذ الكامل للمرحلتين الأولى والثانية من اتفاق الحديدة.

وستواصل فِرق الأمم المتحدة مراقبة هذه الخطوات الأولية بطريقة نزيهة وشفافة. ان التنفيذ الفعال لهذه الخطوات يقتضي تعزيز وجود الأمم المتحدة في الموانئ لدعم إدارتها من قبل شركة موانئ البحر الأحمر، كما يتطلب تعزيز مراقبة آلية الأمم المتحدة للتحقق والتفتيش وفقا لاتفاقية الحديدة.

إن التنفيذ الكامل لهذا الاتفاق أمر ضروري لإعادة السلام والاستقرار إلى اليمن، ولضمان وصول المساعدات الإنسانية بشكل فعال إلى البلاد حيث لا يزال الملايين في حاجة إلى هذه المساعدات لإنقاذ حياتهم.

Note to Correspondents: United Nations Mission to Support the Hudaydah Agreement (UNMHA) Statement by the Chair of the Redeployment Coordination Committee

Hudaydah, 14 May 2019

The Chairman of the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC), Lieutenant General Michael Lollesgaard, visited today the ports of Hudaydah, Salif and Ras Issa to verify the redeployment of Ansar Allah (Houthi) forces. UN teams have been monitoring this redeployment which has been executed, partly as agreed by the Yemeni parties in the concept of phase one.

Lieutenant General Lollesgaard welcomes the handing over of the security of the ports to the coast guard and the efforts to remove all military manifestations from the facilities. There is still a lot of work to be done on the removal of the manifestations, but cooperation has been very good.

These steps are significant as the first part of the broader redeployments in Hudaydah, to which both Yemeni parties continue to express their commitment. Lieutenant General Lollesgaard urges the parties to finalize the outstanding negotiations to allow for a full implementation of phases one and two of the Hudaydah Agreement.

UN teams will continue to monitor these initial steps in an impartial and transparent manner. Proof of the effective implementation will be a strengthened UN presence in the ports to support their management by the Red Sea Ports Corporation, and to enhance the UNVIM’s monitoring in accordance with the Hudaydah Agreement.

Full implementation of this agreement is critical for returning peace and stability to Yemen, and ensuring effective humanitarian access into the country where millions continue to be in need of life-saving assistance.

Note to Correspondents: Yemeni Parties Meet in Amman on Economic Provisions of the Hudayda Agreement

Amman, 13 May 2019

The Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary General for Yemen will meet the Yemeni parties in Amman on Tuesday 14 May, to discuss implementation of the economic provisions of the Hudayda Agreement reached in Sweden in December 2018.

Issues to be discussed will include the management of revenues from the ports of Hudayda, Ras Issa and Salif, and their use for the payment of public sector salaries in Hudayda governorate and throughout the country.

The Special Envoy encourages the parties to engage constructively and with good faith to agree the modalities of implementation, for the benefit of the people in Hudayda and the whole of Yemen.

The Special Envoy expresses his gratitude to the Government of Jordan for its support for this important meeting.

Note to Correspondents United Nations Mission to Support the Hudaydah Agreement (UNMHA) 

Statement by the Chair of the Redeployment Coordination Committee 

Hudaydah, Yemen- 12 May 2019

The first day of the redeployment of Ansar Allah (Houthi) forces from the three ports of Hudaydah, Salif and Ras-Issa went in accordance with established plans. All three ports were monitored simultaneously by United Nations teams as the military forces left the ports and the Coast Guard took over responsibility for security. In the following days, activities are expected to focus on removal of military manifestations and demining. The formal verification by the United Nations of this first redeployment will take place at the three ports on Tuesday 14 May.

The Chairman of the Redeployment Coordination Committee, Lieutenant General Michael Lollesgaard stresses that this initial step is to be seen as the first part of the agreed concept for phase 1 of the broader redeployments in Hudaydah, in accordance with theStockholm Agreement. The Government of Yemen has expressed commitment to deliver their part of phase 1 when requested so by the United Nations. Consultations with the parties on commencement of these next steps are ongoing.

بعثة الأمم المتحدة لدعم اتفاق الحُديدة (أونمــها) بيــــان من رئيس لجنة تنسيق اعادة الانتشار

الحُديدة، اليمن – 12 أيار/ مايو 2019:

مضــى اليوم الأول من إعادة انتشار قوات أنصار الله (الحوثيين) من الموانئ الثلاثة الحُديدة والصليف ورأس عيسى، وفقًا للخطط الموضوعة. وقد جرت مراقبة الموانئ الثلاثة في وقتٍ واحد من قبل فرق الأمم المتحدة عند خروج القوات العسكرية من الموانئ وتولى خفر السواحل مسؤولية الأمن فيها. وفي الأيام التالية، من المتوقع أن تُركز الأنشطة على إزالة المظاهر العسكرية وإزالة الألغام. وستقوم الأمم المتحدة بإجراء التحقق الرسمي لعملية اعادة الانتشار الأولى هذه في الموانئ الثلاثة في يوم الثلاثاء 14 أيار/ مايو.

يؤكد رئيس لجنة تنسيق إعادة الانتشار، الفريـــــق مايكل لوليسجارد، أنه يتعين ان يُنظر الى هذه الخطوة الأولية بوصفها الجزء الأول من المفهوم المتفق عليه للمرحلة الأولى من عمليات إعادة الانتشار الأوسع في الحُديدة، وفقًا لاتفاقية استكهولم. لقد أعربت الحكومة اليمنية عن التزامها بتنفيذ الجزء الخاص بها من المرحلة الأولى عند طلب الأمم المتحدة ذلك. والمشاورات مع الأطراف بشأن بدء هذه الخطوات القادمة مازالت جارية.

Note to Correspondents United Nations Mission to Support the Hudaydah Agreement (UNMHA)

Note to Correspondents

United Nations Mission to Support the Hudaydah Agreement (UNMHA)

 

Statement by the Chair of the Redeployment Coordination Committee on Unilateral Redeployment from the Ports of Hudaydah, Salif and Ras-Issa

10 May 2019 – Al-Hudaydah, Yemen

As the Yemeni parties continue to finalize modalities for a full redeployment in line with the Hudaydah Agreement, the Chair of the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC), Lt. Gen. Michael Lollesgaard, welcomes the offer and intention of theAnsar Allah (Houthis) to undertake an initial unilateral redeployment from the ports of Al-Hudaydah, Salif and Ras-Issa. The United Nations Mission to Support the Hudaydah Agreement (UNMHA) will monitor and report on this unilateral redeployment, which will commence on 11 May 2019 and be completed by 14 May 2019.

The RCC Chair notes that this is a first practical step on the ground since the conclusion of the Hudaydah Agreement, but stresses that it must be followed by the committed, transparent and sustained actions of the parties to fully deliver on their obligations. Furthermore, this unilateral redeployment should allow for establishing a UN leading role in supporting the Red Sea Ports Corporation in managing the ports, and for enhancing the UNVIM’s monitoring in accordance with the Agreement.

In this regard, the full implementation of the Hudaydah Agreement remains instrumental to ensuring effective humanitarian access into Yemen where millions continue to be in need of life-saving assistance. The Yemeni parties must continue to urgently work towards this goal, and all commitments made in Stockholm in December 2018. The United Nations will continue to support theparties’ in this regard so that they deliver on their obligations towards the Yemeni people and return peace and stability to their land.

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL — VIDEO MESSAGE ON WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY

3 May 2019

A free press is essential for peace, justice, sustainable development and human rights.

No democracy is complete without access to transparent and reliable information. It is the cornerstone for building fair and impartial institutions, holding leaders accountable and speaking truth to power.

This is especially true during election seasons — the focus of this year’s World Press Freedom Day.

Facts, not falsehoods, should guide people as they choose their representatives.

Yet while technology has transformed the ways in which we receive and share information, sometimes it is used to mislead public opinion or to fuel violence and hatred.

Civic space has been shrinking worldwide at an alarming rate.

And with anti-media rhetoric on the rise, so too are violence and harassment against journalists, including women.

I am deeply troubled by the growing number of attacks and the culture of impunity.

According to UNESCO, almost 100 journalists were killed in 2018.

Hundreds are imprisoned.

When media workers are targeted, societies as a whole pay a price.

On World Press Freedom Day, I call on all to defend the rights of journalists, whose efforts help us to build a better world for all.

Thank you.

Migrants Die While Detained in Inhumane Conditions in Yemen

2 May 2019 – Aden
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is alarmed by reports of migrants dying of preventable illnesses, being shot and suffering other inhumane treatment in makeshift detention centres in Yemen, now in its fifth year of conflict.

IOM is monitoring the conditions of some 5,000 migrants from the Horn of Africa held across three sites –-two sports stadiums and a military camp–in Yemen’s Aden, Lahj and Abyan governorates.

IOM learned yesterday (01/05) that at least eight migrants died from complications related to acute watery diarrhea (AWD) at the Ibn Khaldoon Hospital in Lahj governorate. Those migrants—predominantly Ethiopian—had been held at a military camp in Lahj where more than 1,400 people are detained. Authorities at the camp report they have detected at least 200 AWD cases. IOM is establishing a diarrhea treatment centre at Ibn Khaldoon Hospital, which is currently struggling to treat 53 AWD cases, including eight severe cases.

This morning, 14 migrants with signs of AWD were brought to Aden’s 22nd of May stadium where IOM is providing critical life saving assistance. IOM’s health team, who has carried out over 1,000 health consultations at the site since 26 April, acted fast to ensure the patients were evacuated to a nearby hospital.

In Geneva, Mohammed Abdiker, IOM’s Director of Operations and Emergencies said, “I am deeply saddened by the deaths of these eight migrants, who were among the thousands of migrants being held in deplorable conditions across Yemen. We have decried this policy to the authorities, urging them to take a humane approach to irregular migration.”

IOM’s team in Aden became aware of the mass arrest and detention of thousands of migrants on 21 April and their detention in cramped buildings, not fit for human inhabitation. Abdiker noted these migrants, “at best, have only limited access to basic services or protection.”

On Tuesday (30/04), guards fired on migrants detained at the Aden sports stadium, two of whom suffered gunshot wounds, leaving a teenage boy likely paralyzed for life. That, Abdiker said, “demonstrates the inability of authorities to care for the expanding detained population as well as the immediate need to have a dedicated civilian authority humanely managing these sites. Our teams could see that without ensuring immediate access to sufficient food, clean water, safe sanitation and medical attention, a catastrophe was waiting to unfold.”

Abdiker added: “IOM stands ready to support Yemen and other regional partners to identify sustainable responses to irregular migration, which do not involve the shortsighted abuse of vulnerable migrants and fully respects international law.”

“I am greatly concerned that this dire situation will further deteriorate,” he concluded. “Our team on the ground has been making strides with local advocacy among the different levels of government. However, it is time to see these words turned into action that puts an end to this abuse before more innocent lives are lost.”

For more information please contact Olivia Headon in Aden. Tel: +967 730 552 233. Email: Oheadon@iom.int

Meet the woman protecting women in Yemen

1 May 2019—SANA’A, Yemen 

Bushra was only 14 years old when her family arranged a child marriage to an older man, and a year later she became pregnant. She was a mother of six when her husband lost his job.

Suddenly the family could not make ends meet in war-torn Yemen, where the economy had collapsed.

At first she had to pull her kids out of school and teach them at home. Bushra worried about how to buy school supplies like books.

Months went by without her husband finding any work. The lack of income put severe stress on Bushra’s household. They could not afford anymore to pay the rent, water or electricity, as well as essential items such as food and clothing.

“I could not bear my life. We had nothing,” she said. “So I started to look for a solution for my family.”

Bushra purchased electronic metal detectors to equip five women with
the best available gear for the job. © UNFPA Yemen

During her search, Bushra came across books on the private security business, and on the origins of successful women entrepreneurs. She did more research online, and asked people with experience for advice.

 

Bushra then learned about Springboard, a UNFPA-supported programme funded by the governments of the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland that aims to empower women by helping them create livelihoods for themselves in 30 countries, including Yemen.

 

She visited the office and pitched her idea for a women-run private security firm. Bushra was delighted when the organization agreed to provide her a grant to start her business and training to help run it. Springboard trainers help women identify their personal and professional goals, and support them to develop the skills they need to achieve those goals.

 

She spent the money on buying uniforms and other supplies like electronic metal detectors to equip five women with the best available gear for the job, and prepare them to become guards.

 

But she still had doubts.

 

“At first I hesitated. There was an internal frustrated voice telling that I me I would fail, that I should give up, that I would lose this money. That I would not succeed,” Bushra said. “However, I pressed on. I challenged myself. I told myself that I had to become something. I had to prove to the whole world that that yes, I can.”

 

Women protecting women

With the grant she received, Bushra managed to launch the first ever women-run security business in Yemen. Her team now helps protect women at weddings, big exhibitions and bazaars in a country where this job was until then only performed by men.

 

Launching the firm was no easy feat for Bushra, who had to fight to convince her own family about her plan.

Bushra’s female security guards help protect women at weddings, big
exhibitions and bazaars. © UNFPA Yemen

Her family argued that women should stay at home; women should not wear a military uniform, nor carry the same weapons used by men. Bushra’s family objected to her running her business while being a mother and housewife.

 

“The challenge was really big in terms of how I would be able to distribute my time between my family and my work,” she said.

 

Despite facing criticism from members of her community, Bushra insisted on opening her security office – and proved them all wrong.

 

Thanks to the private security business, Bushra enjoys a steady income and provides her family with clothing, food and drink. Helping women protect women in the end helped protect her own kids, too.

 

“Their lives have become better than before,” says Bushra. “Now my children live like the rest despite the general bad situation in Yemen.”

 

Bushra now looks forward to returning home everyday.

 

“When I finish my work and go to my house, everyone welcomes me with great joy. After I have succeeded, everyone is courting me and trying to be closer to me.”