Britain Wants UN Council To Demand Yemen Ceasefire

Britain wants UN council to demand Yemen ceasefire

UNITED NATIONS, United States,, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 03rd Nov, 2016 ) - Britain is preparing a draft Security Council resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire in Yemen and negotiations based on a UN peace roadmap that has been rejected by both sides in the conflict. The proposal obtained by AFP on Thursday calls for urgent steps to ease the humanitarian crisis after the top UN aid official said the country was one step away from famine.

The measure is expected to be presented to the 15 council members this week, diplomats said. The draft resolution "demands all parties to the conflict in Yemen immediately recommit to and fully respect the terms and conditions of the cessation of hostilities entered into on 10 April 2016." That truce paved the way for peace talks in Kuwait between the Saudi-backed government and the pro-Iran Huthi rebels. The draft resolution calls for talks based on a roadmap drafted by UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed that provides for a new unity government in Yemen and a rebel withdrawal from the capital and other cities.

Yemen's president Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi has rejected the UN peace proposal, saying it rewards the rebels, while the Huthis have said the roadmap had "fundamental flaws." Under the proposal, Hadi's powers would be dramatically diminished in favor of a new vice president who would oversee the formation of a unity government leading a transition to elections. It remains unclear whether Saudi Arabia backs the plan. The Saudi mission to the United Nations did not immediately provide information on Riyadh's stance in response to a request from AFP.

The roadmap "sets out a clear path to a comprehensive agreement covering both security and political issues," said the draft. One of the poorest countries in the Arab world, Yemen slid deeper into chaos when the Saudi-led coalition launched military operations in March 2015 to push back the rebels who seized Sanaa and other parts of the country. International alarm has been growing after coalition air strikes hit civilian targets including a community hall where more than 140 people were killed this month while attending a funeral. The draft demands that all parties avoid harm to civilians and halt indiscriminate attacks and calls for investigations of human rights violations.