After years of bloody conflict in Yemen there appears to be some cause for optimism.
The Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt is proposing a 2 week humanitarian truce agreement which he will take to the UN Security Council. After years of inaction under Boris Johnson I am pleased the new Foreign Secretary is taking pro-active steps to stop this awful conflict.
The proposals include:
- Immediate cessation of hostilities around the port of Hodeida
- Urgent and unhindered access for humanitarian organisations
- All targeting of civilians to stop
- Compliance by all sides with international humanitarian law
- Full cooperation with the UN peace envoy
In the House of Commons I raised the new proposals with the Foreign Secretary and asked which countries were are trying to oppose these important plans. You can watch my question here.
I do think the cease fire proposals by the UK Government could go further in specifically requiring investigations into allegations of violations of international law to take place and I would like to see more detail on enforcement mechanisms. However, I do welcome the Foreign Secretary working hard to secure peace in Yemen by lobbying the Saudi’s and Iranians in recent weeks.
You can read my Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry’s article in the Independent going into more detail on the deal, here.
I also welcome apparent progress that UN Envoy Martin Griffiths is making towards more substantial peace talks between the Houthi’s and the Yemeni Government and their allies. Talks are pencilled in for December in Sweden and I am hopeful that all sides will attend these talks.
Furthermore, I heartened by moves in the United States to withdraw support for the Saudi led coalition following the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
A new report from Save the Children estimates that 85,000 children, yes children, have died of starvation and disease since this conflict began. This cannot go on and I will support any measures which can bring this bloody conflict to an end.