Statement by Ambassador Xolisa Mabhongo, Deputy Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations, during the Council Briefing on the situation in Yemen, Thursday, 18 July 2019

Thank Mr President,

At the outset, my delegation would like to thank all the briefers for their detailed and informative briefings.

Mr President,

South Africa remains extremely concerned at the serious humanitarian and security situation in Yemen. The continued violence, including the attacks on Abha international airport remains unacceptable and must be condemned.

South Africa is firm in the belief that in order to ensure a long-term solution to the crises in Yemen, it is necessary for all parties to commit to a political process. With that in mind, we welcome the progress made in the implementation of the Hodeidah agreement and the role played by the United Nations Mission to Support the Hodeidah Agreement.

Mr President,

We support the renewal of the mandate of UNMHA for an additional six months, which this Council unanimously adopted last Monday. We therefore wish to encourage all parties, who by signing the Stockholm Agreement in the first place, have shown their willingness to commit to its implementation, to make every effort to fully implement all the elements of the Agreement namely, the ceasefire and redeployment of forces, facilitation of the movement of humanitarian aid and lastly, prisoner swap. In order to enable the above, South Africa calls on all parties to deescalate the fighting in other parts of the country and to commit to a general ceasefire to enable dialogue and inclusive peaceful negotiations.

Mr President,

We wish to reiterate that the success of the Stockholm Agreement will require a sustained implementation of confidence-building measures by both parties.

Mr President,

The briefing by Mr Lowcock this morning was a painful reminder of the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen. My delegation therefore calls upon all parties to ensure that the necessary humanitarian assistance is able to safely reach their intended destinations, without being used as a tool to further fuel the conflict. In this regard, we are concerned by the recent partial suspension of food aid from the World Food Programme and call for the matter to be resolved in order for this aid to be resumed for those in need. Any hindrance to the delivery of this vital humanitarian aid only exacerbates the already severe crises.

Mr President,

We wish to reiterate that the only sustainable resolution will be a negotiated, Yemeni-led political settlement that is inclusive and fair and puts the interests and well-being of all the citizens of Yemen first.

I thank you.

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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