The UN Security Council has passed a resolution calling for an end to attacks by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen on merchant ships in the Red Sea. The paper, adopted in New York on Wednesday, condemns the attacks and calls for their “immediate cessation.”
Eleven countries voted in favor – Russia, China, Algeria and Mozambique abstained. The vote was postponed by a few hours at short notice because Russia had submitted several additional requests, but all of them were rejected.
Since the Gaza war broke out between Israel and the Islamist Hamas, the Houthis have repeatedly attacked ships with alleged Israeli connections in the Red Sea. Only freighters delivering aid to the Gaza Strip would be granted passage. Large shipping companies are increasingly avoiding the route through the Red Sea and the Suez Canal.
Around ten percent of all world trade passes through the Red Sea. The Suez Canal connects the Mediterranean with the Red Sea, providing the shortest sea route between Asia and Europe. The alternative route around the South African Cape of Good Hope extends the transport by a few days.