The New Arab Logo

Breaking News
UN envoy in talks with Yemen's Houthis as government forces advance on Hodeida Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

UN envoy in talks with Yemen's Houthis as government forces advance on Hodeida

Griffiths is due to report back to the Security Council on June 18 [Getty]

Date of publication: 5 June, 2018

Share this page:
  • 0

  • twitter
Martin Griffiths was in the rebel-held capital Sanaa on Monday to discuss a resumption of talks on ending the three-year war with the Saudi-led coalition, as forces advanced in Hodeida.
Yemen's UN envoy held talks with Houthi rebels about de-escalating the fighting around the key port of Hodeida, a major entry point for humanitarian aid, a spokesman said on Monday.

Martin Griffiths was in the rebel-held capital Sanaa to discuss a resumption of talks on ending the three-year war with the Saudi-led coalition, said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

"The special envoy is discussing with the parties the steps they could take to de-escalate tension, including on Hodeida," said Dujarric, who did not provide details.

The meeting came as the Saudi-led military coalition said Yemeni government forces are only around nine kilometres (six miles) from Hodeida, announcing fresh gains in their advance on the strategic rebel-held port city.

"The Yemeni army backed by coalition forces are nine kilometres from Hodeida," coalition spokesman Turki al-Maliki told reporters in Riyadh.

Last Monday, Maliki said the forces were around 20 kilometres from Hodeida.

The battle for the port, controlled by Houthi rebels, has left more than 100 soldiers and insurgents dead in less than a week, medics and military sources said at the weekend.

"We are getting reinforcements... removing mines... in preparation for subsequent operations," Maliki said, adding that the coalition was focused on protecting civilian lives.

"Once the measures are in place, the forces will advance to liberate Hodeida."

More than 100 soldiers and insurgents have been killed in the battle for Hodeida in less than a week, according to medics and military sources.

Griffiths is due to report to the UN Security Council on June 18 on his peace efforts.

The UN has warned that any operation aimed at seizing Hodeida itself would disrupt the entry of aid shipments to Yemen, 70 percent of which flow through the rebel-held port.

The United Arab Emirates - a key member of the Saudi-led alliance - has taken the initiative to ramp up the coastal offensive, with the stated goal of taking Hodeida. 

More than 10,000 people have been killed since the alliance launched its intervention in Yemen in March 2015, contributing to what the UN has called the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

More than 22 million people in Yemen are in need of aid - 8.4 million of whom are on the brink of starvation, according to the  UN.

The New ArabComments

Most Popular

Most Popular

    Read More