Statement by Ambassador Jerry Matjila Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations during the Security Council meeting on Yemen
19 February 2019
We thank the Secretary General’s Special Envoy Mr Martin Griffiths, as well as the Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mr Mark Lowcock for their informative briefings. We also welcome the appointment of Major General Michael Anker Lollesgaard and wish him all the best as the Chair of the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC) and Head of the Special Political Mission to support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA).
We also join in congratulating the members of the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC) for making progress in planning for the redeployment of forces in line with the Hodeidah Agreement, during their fourth joint meeting held from 16 to 17 February in Hodeidah city. This meeting was a commendable confidence building measure by the Parties, and we congratulate them for agreeing on Phase 1 of the mutual redeployment of forces. We look forward to the RCC convening again within a week to finalize Phase 2.
South Africa remains concerned at the serious humanitarian and security situation in Yemen. We reiterate 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. We also welcome the proposal made by the Chair of the RCC to move forward on the implementation of the Hodeidah Agreement. We hope that this commitment will result in tangible progress that brings peace and stability in the region. It is imperative that all parties make every effort to adhere to the ceasefire agreement and the full implementation of the Hodeidah Agreement. We reiterate that the conflict cannot be resolved through military might, the parties must engage constructively and in good faith to overcome obstacles and find a political solution to end the conflict.
The humanitarian situation remains dire in Yemen. We call on all parties to ensure that the necessary humanitarian assistance is able to safely reach their intended destinations. Most of Yemen’s imports including food and humanitarian assistance enter through Hodeidah’s port, which has often been out of action because of on-going fighting. Any hindrance to the delivery of this vital humanitarian aid only exacerbates the already severe crises. 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 wellbeing of all the citizens of Yemen first.
I thank you
Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation