Yemen, violence escalates despite the Stockholm Agreement ceasefire

 A Yemeni child biting his fingers and looking at the camera A Yemeni child biting his fingers and looking at the camera Mahmoud Al-Filistini/NRC

 10 December 2020

Two years after the ceasefire, armed violence is still causing thousands of casualties across Yemen

Violence is escalating in the Yemeni governorate of Hodeidah, where in December 2018 the Stockholm Agreement ceasefire was signed. Two years after the agreement, violence is still spreading throughout the country, involving some of the largest cities and causing injuries and deaths. As figures provided by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) show, among the almost 1.249 casualties and people maimed, many are children.

In 2018, the United Nations' mediation efforts between the Yemeni government and the Houthi rebels took the parties to Sweden to sign the Stockholm Agreement ceasefire in order to put an end to the brutal conflict that has generated the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Mohamed Abdi, Yemen Country Director for the NRC describes it as “the most hopeful development in five years of war” as it “averted a humanitarian catastrophe.” However, in the last two weeks three mass killings in the cities of Taiz and Hodeidah have brought civilians back to live in a constant fear of dying, thereby threatening the ceasefire. In particular, NRC figures report a 40 per cent increase in armed attacks on health facilities. The number of victims of armed violence registered this year is four times bigger than 2018, especially in the city of Marib and in the Al-Jawf governorate. In Taiz, despite the commitment to support a de-escalation of violence, civilian casualties have tripled during the period between May and November, therefore causing the failure of the initiative to open a humanitarian corridor.

As famine is still affecting millions of Yemeni civilians, the conflict is terribly worsening an already catastrophic hunger crisis. Therefore, to the extent of preventing further violence escalation and protecting the ceasefire in place, the NRC is urging the parties to hold their fire and “immediately return to the negotiation table.”


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Author: Sara Mariani

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