UNMHA continues to support implementation of Hodeidah Agreement, spokesperson says
The United Nations Mission to Support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA) denied reports that the mission has terminated its duties in supervising the implementation of the Hodeidah Agreement and monitoring the ceasefire reached as part of the Stockholm Agreement, signed between the Yemeni government and the Houthis more than a year ago.
Hanan Al-Badawi, communications director in the UN mission, said that UNMHA is continuing its work under the command of General Abhijit Goha, who is currently in Hodeidah.
“The reports that the UN has terminated its mission in Hodeidah are incorrect... the mission is continuing to work,” Al-Badawi told Almasdar Online Saturday evening.
Earlier on Saturday, Turkish state-run news organization Anadolu quoted a Yemeni government source as saying that the UN decided that same day to end the mandate of its mission in Hodeidah as a precautionary measure to fight the dangers of the emerging epidemic of Covid-19.
However, Al-Badawi said the UN is only reducing the number of employees present in Yemen as a temporary precautionary measure, and that the head of the mission has decided to keep a small team in Hodeidah. The rest of the team will continue their work from Jordan until it is deemed safe to return to full capacity.
“The mission is obligated to implement safety and precautionary measures related to the corona pandemic in a way that preserves the safety of the local population and also the safety of UNMHA personnel, including international staff and observers,” she told Almasdar Online.
On Friday, a spokesman for the Joint Forces on the west coast, Colonel Waddah Al-Dubeish, told Almasdar Online that most members of the international team overseeing the ceasefire in the coastal province of Hodeidah left Yemen, and only 8 members of the mission remain in the city.
In mid-January, the UN Security Council unanimously voted to extend the mandate of UNMHA for an additional six months, ending July 15, 2020. The mission was formed in late 2018 by a UN resolution to support the Stockholm Agreement between the Yemeni government and the Houthis.
UNMHA is mandated with supporting the implementation of the Hodeidah Agreement, one of the agreements reached under the umbrella of the Stockholm Agreement, which includes a ceasefire in the governorate, the mutual redeployment of forces, and the handover of Hodeidah’s ports to security forces “in accordance with Yemeni law.”
Edited by Alkhatab Alrawhani