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UN Security Council demands Houthis cease attacks in the Red Sea
Photo Courtesy: UN Photo/Manuel Elías

UN Security Council demands Houthis cease attacks in the Red Sea

| @indiablooms | 28 Jun 2024, 06:12 pm

The UN Security Council on Thursday demanded that Houthi rebels in Yemen immediately cease all attacks against merchant and commercial vessels in the Red Sea.

The Houthi attacks began at the end of last year in what the militant group said was an act of solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, following Israel’s offensive – itself a response to the 7 October Hamas-led terror attack on southern Israel.

Adopting resolution 2739 (2024), with 12 votes in favour and three abstentions (Algeria, China and Russia), the Council also requested monthly reports from the Secretary-General on the crisis in the Red Sea until January next year.

The Council stressed that all Member States “must adhere to their obligations in regard to the targeted arms embargo” against key Houthi leaders, set out in resolution 2216 of 2015.

Additionally, it also reiterated condemnation of Houthi attacks against maritime shipping in the Red Sea and demanded the immediate release the merchant vessel Galaxy Leader and its crew.

Operated by a Japanese company, the Galaxy Leader was seized in November last year and has contributed to an escalation in tension throughout the Middle East resulting from the war in Gaza. 

The renewed request for the reports stems from resolution 2722.

Renewal of UN disengagement force mandate

In a separate decision, the Security Council extended the mandate of the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the Golan for six months until 31 December 2024.

It also requested the Secretary-General to ensure that the Force has the required capacity and resources to fulfil its mandate “in a safe and secure way”. 

Unanimously adopting resolution 2737 (2024), the 15-member Council also stressed that Israel and Syria are obliged to “scrupulously and fully respect” the terms of the 1974 Disengagement of Forces Agreement.

It also urged both sides to exercise maximum restraint and prevent any breaches of the ceasefire, utilizing UNDOF’s liaison function to address issues of mutual concern.

UNDOF was established immediately following the 1974 Agreement with a mandate to maintain the ceasefire and supervise the area of separation – a demilitarized buffer zone.

The Force has since been reauthorized every six months.

Renewal of DR Congo sanctions

Furthermore, the Council also decided to extend the sanctions regime on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) until 1 July 2025, alongside the mandate of the corresponding Group of Experts until 1 August 2025.

Unanimously adopting resolution 2738 (2024), the 15-member organ recalled the Secretary-General’s commitment that the UN “will do everything possible” to ensure that the perpetrators of the killing of the two members of the Group of Experts and the four Congolese nationals accompanying them are brought to justice.

Experts Michael Sharp of the United States and Zaida Catalan of Sweden were investigating reports of mass atrocities in the volatile Kasai region surrounding fighting between Government forces and armed militia, when they were abducted on 12 March 2017.

Their remains were recovered by peacekeepers from the UN mission in the country (MONUSCO) on 27 March outside the city of Kananga in the Kasai-Central province.

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