- The present note is submitted pursuant to paragraph 7 of Security Council resolution 2451 (2018), in which the Council requested the Secretary-General to report on progress regarding implementation of that resolution, including any breaches of commitments by the parties, on a weekly basis, as called for by the parties, until further notice. The present report covers the period from 12 to 18 January 2019.
II. Situation in the city of Hudaydah and the ports of Hudaydah, Salif and Ra’s Isa
A. Monitoring of the ceasefire in Hudaydah
During the reporting period, mutual allegations of ceasefire violations continued. Alleged incidents were most commonly reported in front-line areas of the southern part of Hudaydah governorate, along key routes running from Houthi-held territory in the east to territory held by the Government of Yemen on the western coastal strip, and in contested areas of Hudaydah city. Most alleged incidents related to engagements involving direct and indirect fire.
The Durayhimi district, located to the south of Hudaydah city, continues to be the subject of most of the alleged incidents. Durayhimi is contested, with both parties controlling sections of the district along the approach to Hudaydah city. The Tuhayta ’, Jah and Hays districts were also the subject of several alleged incidents. In Hudaydah city, there was an increase in exchanges of fire from 12 to 14 January, with advance team personnel noting a significant volume of artillery fire on the evenings of 13 and 14 January. Its origins and the areas targeted could not immediately be verified. The Liaison and Coordination Mechanism was in contact with the parties to undertake de-escalation efforts. The Chair of the Redeployment Coordination Committee also addressed the situation in his bilateral meetings with the respective Committee delegations, continuing to impress upon the parties the requirement to restrain their forces and uphold their commitments.
B. Redeployment of forces
The Chair of the Committee presented the parties with a bridging proposal for phase I redeployment. The proposal included suggestions on distances to which forces would redeploy from the ports, as well as from their respective positions along the Hudaydah-Sana’a road, creating a buffer zone that would free up humanitarian facilities and operations. On 12 and 13 January and then again on 16 and 17 January, the Chair shuttled between the parties to receive feedback and discuss alternative proposals for phase I redeployment.
Independent of discussions on redeployment, the parties have confirmed to the Chair in writing their commitment to facilitating access to the Red Sea Mills, which contain 51,000 tons of food commodities, enough to feed 3.5 million people for a month. The Red Sea Mills and other humanitarian facilities became inaccessible as hostilities between the Government of Yemen and Houthis moved closer to the city several months ago. In the coming days, the Chair and his team will propose a plan for the parties and humanitarian partners on how to access the area and retrieve the commodities before they exceed their shelf life and become unfit for human consumption.
C. Strengthened United Nations presence
As at 18 January, both the Resident Coordinator’s Office and the United Nations Development Programme had established a presence on the ground in Hudaydah.
Eight monitors of the United Nations Verification and Inspection Mechanism for Yemen received visas and were prepared to deploy to the ports pending confirmation of accommodation.
Accommodation in Hudaydah continues to be a constraint. Nevertheless, the United Nations country team is working with local authorities to quickly expan d options for housing United Nations personnel. Additionally, a vessel that can accommodate up to 100 passengers will be contracted for a period of six months to meet interim accommodation needs.