The Yemen Trend - December 2018 Issue
The resumption of the UN-sponsored peace process in December has presented the warring parties with a path toward alleviating the suffering in Yemen, which multiple reports show has worsened considerably throughout 2018. The latest Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) findings show for the first time that tens of thousands of Yemenis are classified in IPC Phase 5, known as Famine or Catastrophe, and a total 15.9 million people are severely food insecure. The total number of Yemenis requiring some form of humanitarian assistance in the new year, according to the Global Humanitarian Overview 2019, is 24 million – 80 percent of the population.
UN Envoy Martin Griffiths convened the Yemeni delegations in Sweden from December 6 to 13, which culminated in the Stockholm Agreement. The warring parties agreed to a ceasefire and a mutual redeployment of forces from the city and ports of Hodeidah; to exchange all prisoners; to form a joint committee to continue negotiations over de-escalation in Taiz; and to resume national consultations unconditionally in January. The ceasefire went into effect in Hodeidah governorate on December 18, and the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2451 (2018) on December 21, which endorses the Stockholm Agreement and authorizes a UN monitoring team to oversee the redeployment in Hodeidah.
The Houthis ceremonially and unilaterally announced the transfer of the port to a local unit of the coast guard on December 29. However, the Hadi government said the Houthis’ handover to authorities under their own control violates the agreement reached in Sweden. This set the stage for the central issue in January to be over the phrasing of the Hodeidah agreement, which states ambiguously that the city and ports of Hodeidah “shall be the responsibility of local security forces in accordance with Yemeni law.”
To read about all the major economic, humanitarian, political, and military developments that took place in Yemen throughout the month, access the full December 2018 issue of the Yemen Trend by clicking on the PDF icon below.