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UN to vote on monitors to observe cease-fire in Yemen port

AP  |  United Nations 

The scheduled a vote Friday on a resolution that would authorise UN monitors to observe the implementation of a cease-fire in Yemen's strategic port city of and the withdrawal of rival forces potential breakthroughs in the four-year civil war.

The UN for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, called for urgent deployment of UN monitors as "an essential part of the confidence" needed to help implement the December 13 cease-fire agreement between and Houthi Shiite rebels and the "phased but rapid mutual withdrawals" of fighters from the main port in and two others in the province as well as from city.

The fragile cease-fire has halted months of heavy fighting in Hodeida, through which the country imports 70 per cent of its and humanitarian aid.

But the Saudi-led coalition backing the government bombed an air base in the rebel-held capital of on Wednesday, and Yemeni officials have also reported sporadic artillery and automatic weapons fire.

After intense negotiations over the past week on a British-drafted resolution that would authorise UN monitors including over whether to condemn for supplying weapons to the Houthis which the US wanted and strongly opposed the surprised the council by circulating a stripped-down rival resolution Thursday.

It is exceedingly rare for allies to present rival resolutions to the

The British responded by putting their draft in a final form that can be voted on, and diplomats said it will be put to a vote on Friday morning.

If the British resolution doesn't get a minimum nine "yes" votes or is vetoed by another permanent member the US, Russia, or the could then seek a vote on its rival draft.

The British draft would authorise UN "to establish and deploy, for an initial period of 30 days ... an advance team to begin monitoring and to support and facilitate the immediate implementation of the agreement."

It endorses the agreement and also requests Guterres to submit proposals "as soon as possible before December 31" on how the UN will fully support the cease-fire, the redeployment of the rival forces from the Hodeida area. and other provisions in the accord.

In response to Russia's threatened veto of the resolution if a reference to was kept in the resolution, the text now condemns "the supply, from whatever source, of weapons and associated material in contravention of the arms embargo" against the Houthis in 2015 The British draft also addresses the dire humanitarian situation in and backs Griffiths' efforts to facilitate "an inclusive political process.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, December 21 2018. 08:50 IST