Germany to join UN monitoring mission in Yemen: reports | News | DW | 09.04.2019
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Germany to join UN monitoring mission in Yemen: reports

The German government is expected to send unarmed soldiers and police to oversee a ceasefire in Hodeida. Yemen's civil war has killed tens of thousands and sparked a humanitarian crisis, with German arms playing a role.

The German government is planning to take part in a United Nations observer mission in Yemen, which has been torn by civil war since 2014, German media reported Tuesday.

The mission will help implement and monitor a ceasefire in the port city of Hodeida as outlined by a Security Council resolution from December. Germany will reportedly send a maximum of 10 unarmed soldiers and police, German news agencies reported, citing a government briefing document.

The Cabinet is expected to officially approve the decision on Wednesday.

Hope of de-escalation

Over the past years, Yemen has been the site of violent conflict between Houthi rebels backed by Iran and government forces supported by Saudi Arabia, killing at least 10,000 people and unleashing a humanitarian crisis.

Much of the fighting centered in Hodeida, which is a crucial entry point for food and medicine.

"The ceasefire agreement brings hope of a de-escalation in the dramatic humanitarian situation," the German government's briefing document reportedly said.

The UN resolution provides for a maximum of 75 monitors to be deployed for an initial period of up to six months. It was hailed as a breakthrough and a potential first step in ending the ongoing conflict.  

Criticism over arms export

The German government's plan to participate in the monitoring missions has already drawn mixed reactions from the opposition, with the business-friendly Free Democrats expressing support for the measure but the socialist Left criticizing the government for its arms export policy.

Following the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Germany temporarily halted arms sales to Yemeni government backer Saudi Arabia in October, with the ban now extended through September 30.

However, investigations in February revealed that German arms are still being used in the conflict.

Germany's arms export ban has raised tension with its European neighbors, particularly France and Great Britain, which say it threatens bilateral defense projects.

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cmb/aw (KNA, dpa)

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