Cease-fire agreement for Yemen

This item appears on page 17 of the February 2019 issue.

Representatives from the Yemeni government and rebel Houthi forces signed an immediate cease-fire agreement in Sweden on Dec. 13. The agreement would be enforced only around the Houthi-held port city of al-Hudaydah to allow for humanitarian aid to be taken in. A blockade of the port, enforced by a Saudi Arabia-led coalition of Arab states, had prevented most humanitarian aid from reaching Houthi-held areas of western Yemen.

The cease-fire was delayed until Dec. 18 due to continued fighting in and around al-Hudaydah. Both sides said that the continued fighting was due to the inability to get orders to local commanders in a timely fashion.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that Yemen is facing the world's worst humanitarian crisis in years. More than 6,000 civilians have been killed in direct conflict, with thousands more killed due to disease and malnutrition. A cholera epidemic in Yemen has infected tens of thousands of people, with WHO estimating that an additional 10,000 people are infected each week as the epidemic continues.