Ceasefire in Yemen: Germany is supporting the UN’s efforts to bring about peace
Donor conference for Yemen at the Federal Foreign Office on 4 July, © Florian Gaertner/photothek.de
The start of serious negotiations to resolve the conflict in Yemen is within reach. Together with the United Nations, Germany hosted a donor conference on 4 July to strengthen the important mediation work of UN Special Envoy Hans Grundberg.
Fragile ceasefire a first success
A ceasefire between the government and the Houthi rebels reached in April 2022 was extended in June and is now in place until the beginning of August. This window of opportunity is now set to be used to provide targeted support for the UN’s peace efforts. The meeting at the Federal Foreign Office served to strengthen the mediation work of UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg and to discuss the scope for a consolidated ceasefire or armistice.
Germany’s support for the Yemen Peace Support Facility (PSF)
The Yemen Peace Support Facility (PSF) was established three years ago on Germany’s initiative. It is administered by the United Nations and is at the disposal of the UN Special Envoy for Yemen. Ten countries contribute financial resources to the fund, including Sweden, Italy, the Netherlands and the UK, as well as the EU. Germany is the largest donor to the Facility.
Minister of State Tobias Lindner pledged further financial support for the PSF:
For many years, we have been working at the conceptual level and with great financial commitment together with the UN and other donors on a resolution to the conflict in Yemen. The Berlin meeting of international advocates for peace makes me cautiously optimistic. A turnaround in the Yemen conflict seems possible. We will therefore contribute four million euro to the work of the Peace Support Facility for Yemen. As host, organiser and a contributor of ideas for pacifying complex conflict regions, we are showing what we mean by an active peace policy.
What else was agreed at the conference?
In Berlin, the further strategic development of the Peace Support Facility was agreed upon, as were concrete, operational steps. The PSF is intended to help prevent an environmental disaster in the Red Sea, for example. For years, a solution has been sought for the ailing, 40-year-old supertanker FSO Safer, which has over one million barrels of crude oil on board. The floating oil storage and loading platform is located near the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah and has not undergone maintenance for years due to the impacts of the civil war. There is a risk of an oil spill of massive proportions should the platform leak. Technicians from a specialist Dutch company are currently in Yemen with a view to advancing the planning for a possible salvage operation. Here, too, it is hoped that, thanks to a prior political agreement, a technical solution can be found and, at the same time, that a major stumbling block on the road to peace can be removed. Germany is contributing a total of just under 10 million euro to the salvage operation.