HomeUnited NationsSecurity Council strongly condemns Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping

Security Council strongly condemns Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping

The draft resolution condemns in the strongest terms the Houthi attacks on merchant and commercial vessels since 19 November, demanding that the group immediately cease all such attacks, as well as release the Galaxy Leader and its crew.The text commends efforts taken so far to protect shipping under fire in the Red Sea and encourages Member States to “support capacity building efforts” of the Yemeni coastguard to protect the sovereignty and integrity of the country.The draft text calls for respect for the exercise of navigational rights and freedoms by merchant and commercial vessels in line with international law.Russia first proposed three amendments to the draft text but all were defeated, paving the way for a vote on the draft resolution. There were 11 votes in favour, none against, and four countries abstained: China, Russia, Algeria and Mozambique.Council members previously condemned the Houthi attacks and demanded the release of the Japanese-registered Galaxy Leader and its crew in a 1 December 2023 press statement.The United States reported earlier in the day that together with UK naval forces it had shot down 21 drones and missiles fired by Houthi rebels from Yemen on Tuesday in the southern Red Sea.  Houthis control the capital Sana’a and large swathes of the country, including the Red Sea coast. They began targeting what they believe to be Israel-bound vessels in mid-November after first launching missile and drone attacks against Israel itself, in support of the extremist group Hamas.It also emphasizes the needs to “address the root causes” of the attack that are contributing to regional tensions, to ensure a “prompt, efficient and effective response”.There have been over two dozen separate attacks on international shipping carried out by the rebel movement which controls much of Yemen, since the 7 October terror attacks by Hamas led to Israel’s devastating offensive in Gaza.

Details of the resolution

It urges continued support for the UN-led peace process to end Yemen’s long-running civil conflict.The meeting follows an emergency briefing and consultations last week to address the growing threat posed by militant attacks in one of the world’s key shipping channels.Last week’s briefing and consultations were held following a lack of consensus on a draft presidential statement in late December.The resolution condemns the provision of any arms to the Houthis and “urges caution and restraint to avoid further escalation of the situation in the Red Sea and the broader region”.Now they have widened their aim to all international shipping companies, until, they say, Israel allows full humanitarian supplies to enter Gaza, causing many companies to divert ships far to the south around the Cape of Good Hope, driving up costs and threatening to disrupt the entire global supply chain.It further “takes note of the right of Member States”, in accordance with international law, to defend their vessels from attacks, including those that undermine navigational rights and freedoms.

More to come…


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