Shots are fired from a vehicle during heavy fighting between the Yemeni government and Houthis in Hodeidah, Yemen, in this still image taken from video obtained on December 18, 2018. Image Credit: Reuters

In the critical port of Hodeida, there is some positive news emerging in that the ceasefire brokered for the city seems to be holding, offering a respite for residents who have been living under the yoke of an Al Houthi occupation now for months.

There have been reports of some violations of the truce that came into effect on Monday night, but Tuesday did offer a day mostly free of fighting, and the port city seemed calm on Wednesday.

Brokered by the United Nations, the ceasefire not only gives the most seriously injured in the city a chance to get medical attention but also allows for humanitarian supplies to fully reach the city’s residents.

But the shelling on Tuesday from Al Houthi positions is a flagrant breach of ceasefire conditions and the UN will do well to investigate and hold these usurpers responsible.

Any breach of this UN-agreed ceasefire is indeed a serious offence, and one can only assume that the actions by Al Houthi rebels reflect a general lack of commitment that militia’s leadership have shown in ending their calamitous campaign, or sitting at the peace table or indeed getting them to agree to the truce in the first place during meetings on Stockholm.

Right now, the international coalition that is present in Yemen is acting on the basis of resolutions and with the backing of the UN Security Council. As such, it is by its very nature committed to the work of the UN and certainly is both committed to the armistice, ensuring that its terms and conditions are strictly adhered to.

As far as the international coalition is concerned — and the UAE is proud to be participating to assist our Yemeni brothers and sisters — the current violence in Yemen can only be abated by a commitment to the principles of peace.

Indeed, for the past three years, the international community, the leadership of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and those from across the wider Arab world have attempted time and time again to kick-start peace talks in Yemen.

Time and time again, whether it be in Kuwait City, Geneva or elsewhere, Al Houthis have been reluctant to step forward on the path of peace. And time and time again, they have resisted overtures to end this conflict, preferring instead to wait for instructions from Tehran. The situation now in Yemen is critical, with the very real risk that unless Al Houthis seriously commit to peace, there are many at risk from famine, malnutrition and diseases that thrive in the conditions caused by Al Houthi actions.

Peace is the only way forward now.