Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping: Security Council condemns, passes resolution

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Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping: Security Council condemns, passes resolution
Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping: Security Council condemns, passes resolution

The UN Security Council on Wednesday handed a resolution condemning “within the strongest phrases” the a number of attacks by Houthi rebels off the coast of Yemen which have disrupted international commerce and raised fears of additional spillover from the conflict in Gaza.

Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping: Security Council condemns, passes resolution
Members of the Security-Council collect for a gathering on the upkeep of worldwide peace and safety within the Red Sea (file picture). Photo Courtesy: UN Photo/Manuel Elías

Russia first proposed three amendments to the draft textual content however all had been defeated, paving the way in which for a vote on the draft resolution. There had been 11 votes in favour, none towards, and 4 nations abstained: China, Russia, Algeria and Mozambique.

The assembly follows an emergency briefing and consultations final week to handle the rising risk posed by militant attacks in one of many world’s key transport channels.

The United States reported earlier within the day that along with UK naval forces it had shot down 21 drones and missiles fired by Houthi rebels from Yemen on Tuesday within the southern Red Sea.  

There have been over two dozen separate attacks on worldwide transport carried out by the insurgent motion which controls a lot of Yemen, because the 7 October terror attacks by Hamas led to Israel’s offensive in Gaza.

Houthis management the capital Sana’a and huge swathes of the nation, together with the Red Sea coast. They started focusing on what they imagine to be Israel-bound vessels in mid-November after first launching missile and drone attacks towards Israel itself, in assist of the extremist group Hamas.

Now they’ve widened their goal to all worldwide transport corporations, till, they are saying, Israel permits full humanitarian provides to enter Gaza, inflicting many corporations to divert ships far to the south across the Cape of Good Hope, driving up prices and threatening to disrupt your complete international provide chain.

Council members beforehand condemned the Houthi attacks and demanded the discharge of the Japanese-registered Galaxy Leader and its crew in a 1 December 2023 press assertion.

Last week’s briefing and consultations had been held following an absence of consensus on a draft presidential assertion in late December.

Details of the resolution

The draft resolution condemns within the strongest phrases the Houthi attacks on service provider and industrial vessels since 19 November, demanding that the group instantly stop all such attacks, in addition to launch the Galaxy Leader and its crew.

The textual content requires respect for the train of navigational rights and freedoms by service provider and industrial vessels in step with worldwide legislation.

It additional “takes word of the precise of Member States”, in accordance with worldwide legislation, to defend their vessels from attacks, together with those who undermine navigational rights and freedoms.

The textual content commends efforts taken thus far to guard transport underneath hearth within the Red Sea and encourages Member States to “assist capability constructing efforts” of the Yemeni coastguard to guard the sovereignty and integrity of the nation.

It additionally emphasizes the must “deal with the foundation causes” of the assault which are contributing to regional tensions, to make sure a “immediate, environment friendly and efficient response”.

The resolution condemns the supply of any arms to the Houthis and “urges warning and restraint to keep away from additional escalation of the scenario within the Red Sea and the broader area”.

It urges continued assist for the UN-led peace course of to finish Yemen’s long-running civil battle.


Japan’s Permanent Representative, Yamazaki Kazuyiki, who drew up the resolution together with the US, denounced the Houthi attacks and demanded the discharge of the Galaxy Leader’s crew.

The delegate known as upon the Council to talk in a single voice on this concern and expressed hope that the resolution would assist create widespread floor to answer the safety disaster within the very important transport channel.


Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia emphasised what he described because the “harmful aspect” of the resolution offered by the United States.

This textual content mustn’t create a precedent, mentioned the delegate, including that “worldwide legislation offers with freedom of navigation in peacetime, not in wartime”. He regretted the politicized nature of the textual content in addition to the allegations of politicization voiced by the US in the direction of his nation.

While condemning the attacks on civilian ships, the Russian delegation acknowledged that the target of the resolution was not guarantee the security of navigation within the Red Sea, however an try to legitimize the coalition’s actions “led by the United States and the United Kingdom” and to acquire, not directly, the Security Council’s “blessings”.  

In order to appropriate the scenario within the Red Sea, Nebenzia mentioned it was necessary to acknowledge the “direct penalties” of  Israel’s “very violent army operations which have lasted for greater than three months in Gaza.

China, Algeria, Sierra Leone

The omission of this “causal hyperlink” within the wording of the resolution was additionally invoked by Algeria, China and Sierra Leone to justify their abstentions.

“We couldn’t affiliate ourselves with a textual content that ignores the 23,000 lives which were taken since final October within the Gaza Strip, summed up Algeria’s prime consultant, Ambassador Amar Bendjama.

China’s Permanent Representative Zhang Jun noticed within the resolutions “ambiguities”, a purpose to worry an exacerbation of regional tensions.

United States

After having famous that few of the ships underneath had really been chartered by Israeli corporations, the United States thought of that what’s at stake shouldn’t be a battle particularly, however the truth that freedom of navigation is being taken hostage.

We mustn’t obscure the truth that Iran provides its assist for the Houthis to assault service provider and industrial ships passing by the Red Sea and the Bab El-Mandab strait in violation of resolution 2216 (2015) of the Security Council, insisted Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

The threats to navigation rights within the Red Sea are “a world downside that requires a world motion”, she mentioned.

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