Taiz Stockholm Agreement

The Security Council approved the Stockholm Convention in accordance with resolution 2451 (2018). The Stockholm Agreement provided for a ceasefire for Hodeidah governorate, including the city of Hodeidah and the ports of Hodeidah, Salif and Ras Issa; a framework for the rehabilitation and management of the Hodeidah port complex and the obligation to use the resulting revenues to pay public salaries in the government and throughout Yemen; a prisoner exchange agreement; and an explanation of Taiz`s understanding. What needs to be done? The United Nations should, with the support of the P5, clarify the minimum threshold necessary for the implementation of the Hodeidah agreement in order to allow a shift towards broader peace talks. And the United States, with the support of the United Nations, should push Saudi Arabia to discuss military de-escalation directly with the Houthis, especially with regard to cross-border attacks. After talks with Sweden, the United Nations was forced to hastily organize a ceasefire in Hodeida governorate, which began on December 18. But the parties did not agree with the basic rules. Unlike most ceasefire agreements, this agreement did not contain technical details on the scope, nature or duration of the cessation of hostilities; definition of offences; or mechanisms to stop the fight quickly when it breaks out. The failure of such an agreement – probably because of the urgency of an agreement – has had adverse consequences. What further complicates matters is that the United Nations has not yet deployed a full monitoring team – which requires the approval of the Security Council – and makes the fate of the ceasefire vulnerable to war of narratives that initially tormented attempts to build a peace process. It is clear that the agreement was the result of reports of widespread human rights violations in prisons, which rose to the level of war crimes and crimes against humanity, and led to the conclusion, in the report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the group of important experts, that “the governments of Yemen, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia,” as well as the “de facto international human rights authorities,” “are responsible for the following war crimes: rape, degrading and cruel treatment, torture, and outrage at personal dignity.” [29] When they arrived in Sweden in December 2018, the Houthis (whose forces suffered a military attack) and the government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi were under increasing international pressure to reach an agreement.