The UN Security Council voted unanimously Wednesday to extend the international community’s special political mission in Yemen, Anadolu News Agency reports.
The authorities were set to expire 15 July, but the vote extends the UN Mission to Support the Hudaydah Agreement (UNMHA) for one year.
The vote was conducted in an exceptionally rare fashion without Council members delivering remarks. Shortly after, Norway’s UN mission hailed the vote, saying the country “fully supports UNMHA’s mission, including their crucial efforts on mine action.”
Yemen’s warring parties agreed in June to extend an UN-brokered truce for two months. It was first struck in April and hopes have been pegged on the parties agreeing to a longer-term nationwide cease-fire.
Hans Grundberg, the UN’s Special Envoy to Yemen, told the Council on Monday that the pact “has resulted in a significant reduction in civilian casualties, with the number of civilian casualties reduced by two-thirds compared to the three months before the truce began.”
“The truce represents the best opportunity for peace in Yemen we have had in years and we should encourage and support the parties to make the most of this opportunity for the benefit of Yemen as a whole,” he added.
Following the 2 June renewal, seven fuel ships with 200,000 metric tons of fuel products have been cleared to enter the vital port and more than 7,000 people have been flown from Yemen to Jordan on commercial aircraft, according to the Envoy.
Yemen has been engulfed by violence and instability since 2014, when Iran-aligned Houthi rebels captured much of the country, including Sana’a. The Houthis remain in control of the capital, as well as wide swathes of territory, despite a military campaign conducted by Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab allies since 2015, aimed at ousting them and restoring the Yemeni government.
The Saudi-led campaign has exacerbated an already dire humanitarian situation in the war-torn nation. Millions suffer from hunger amid persistent famine-like conditions.