Thursday, 13 December, 2018


It's critical to prevent a battle for key port in Yemen

It's critical to prevent a battle for key port in Yemen It's critical to prevent a battle for key port in Yemen
Bennie Garza | 14 June, 2018, 02:25

"We will continue to discourage any attack on Hodeidah port and will continue to use our influence to do so", Alistair Burt, a foreign office minister, told the House of Commons.

The offensive also risks plunging the country into further violence as the coalition tries to wrest control of the strategic city from the rebels.

The council met behind closed doors to hear United Nations envoy Martin Griffiths report on his diplomatic efforts to keep the rebel-held port of Hodeidah open to shipments of aid and commercial goods.

Guterres said his envoy Martin Griffiths was locked in "intense negotiations" with Yemen's rebel Huthis, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to find a "way to avoid the military confrontation in Hodeida".

A Saudi-led coalition has been at war with Yemen's Shiite Houthi rebels since March 2015.

His efforts to convince the rebels to hand over control of Al Hodeidah to UN-supervised worldwide forces had failed, according to reports.

The statement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stopped short of warning the Saudi and UAE-led coalition against besieging the key city.

Hodeidah is a vital lifeline for the delivery of humanitarian supplies to the Houthi-controlled northern provinces, including the country's capital Sanaa.

More than 10,000 Yemenis have been killed since the war began, tens of thousands have been wounded, and another two million people have been displaced.

Burt said: "The UN special envoy has previously expressed concern that conflicts in Hodeidah could take peace off the table "in a single stroke".

"The Emiratis have informed us today that they will now give a 3-day grace period for the United Nations (and their partners) to leave the city", it said. The U.N.is also pushing the militants to turn over arms in exchange for an end to the bombing campaign and a transitional governance deal. "We have dozens of United Nations staff still in Hudeidah", Lowcock said.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday expressed concern at the situation in Hudeida and called on all parties to "honour their commitments to working with the United Nations".

"Our top priority is helping to ensure the 22 million Yemenis who need some form of humanitarian aid and protection receive the assistance they need", Grande said last week.

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