Statement from Minister Simon Coveney on incident in Yemen
Press release07 December 2022
The Minster for Foreign Affairs, and Defence, Simon Coveney has expressed shock at yesterday’s attack in Yemen.
“I was shocked to learn that a convoy of the UN Mission to support the Hudaydah Agreement (UNMHA) struck a landmine during a visit to Al-Hali district of Yemen, damaging a vehicle carrying the Head of Mission, retired Irish Defence Forces Major General Michael Beary.
“Although there were no casualties in the convoy, this incident is a reminder of the dangers that the people of Hudaydah face every day due to landmines and other explosive remnants of war.
“Yemen is one of the world's worst humanitarian crises, driven by seven years of conflict, economic collapse and the breakdown of public institutions and services which has left millions of people in need of humanitarian assistance.
“The root of this humanitarian disaster lies in conflict and Ireland fully support the efforts of the UNMHA and of the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, to bring about a peaceful solution to this conflict in Yemen.
“I was disappointed that the truce agreement was not renewed in October and I urge all parties to the conflict to return to negotiations in good faith.”
Notes to Editors
- Hudaydah is Yemen’s fourth largest city with a population of around 600,000, and a critical port for imports to the country. Following UN-led talks in Stockholm, the parties to the conflict signed the Stockholm agreement in December 2018. This committed to a ceasefire around the city of Hudaydah, a mechanism for prisoner exchange, and a commitment to de-escalate hostilities around the city of Taiz.
- On 21 December 2018, the UN Security Council adopted UNSCR 2451 to support this agreement, by deploying an advance UN team to Hudaydah. This was followed by the adoption of the mandate of the United Nations Mission to support the Hudaydah Agreement (UNMHA), which was established on 16 January, 2019. In July 2022 the Security Council extended the mandate for a further year until July, 2023.
- On 23 December 2021, UNSG Antonio Guterres appointed Major General Beary (retired) as Head of UNMHA, and Chair of the Redeployment Coordination Committee. UNMHA’s role includes overseeing a Governorate-wide ceasefire, the redeployment of forces, and mine action operations.
- As a member of the Security Council, Ireland has engaged extensively in support of the UN's efforts to end the conflict in Yemen including with the UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg and Major General Michael Beary, Head of UNMHA. In addition to significant diplomatic efforts, Ireland has been a consistent and reliable donor to Yemen. Ireland has contributed over €37 million in humanitarian funding since 2015, including a commitment of €5 million for 2022. Since 2015, the EU has contributed over €1.2 billion to Yemen, including €862 million in humanitarian aid and €407 million in development assistance.