Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

United Nations scrambles to avert coalition attack on key Yemen port

3 Reported Killed in Missile Attack in Saudi Arabia Civilians Killed in Houthi Shelling of Saudi Arabia’s Jazan – Reports
Jeannette Daniel | 14 June, 2018, 02:04

A US -backed, Saudi-led military coalition is fighting against the Houthis on behalf of the government of President Abd Rabbu Mansour al-Hadi, who lives in exile in Riyadh. "I hope that it will be possible to avoid a battle for Hudeida", Guterres said.

Impoverished Yemen has been wracked by violence since 2014, when the Shia Houthi group overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa.

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.

The UAE has vowed it will take the port saying it is being used by Houthi rebels to smuggle in arms including missiles used to attack Saudi Arabia itself.

"What we should not see is an attack on Hodeida port".

A Saudi-led coalition, which includes the UAE, has been in a virtual stalemate with the Houthis since a coalition offensive began in March of 2015.

Griffiths previously said an attack on Hodeidah would "take peace off the table in a single stroke".

3 Reported Killed in Missile Attack in Saudi Arabia

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said there were "intense negotiations" by his UN envoy Martin Griffiths on the fate of the port. "But we are also anxious about the humanitarian situation".

Meanwhile, the USA was following developments in Yemen very closely, said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The letter comes after the United Nations and humanitarian groups reported over the weekend they were warned by the United Arab Emirates to evacuate Hodeida by Tuesday.

A broader United Nations peace plan calls on the Houthis to give up their missiles in return for an end to a coalition bombing campaign and a transitional governance deal, according to a draft document and sources. The United Nations says that Yemen is now the world's worst humanitarian crisis and that 22.2 million Yemenis are in need of humanitarian aid.

The Red Sea port is significant as a lifeline for millions of people, handling most of the country's commercial imports and humanitarian aid supplies through ships.

In his call with Emirati leaders, Pompeo said he "made clear our desire to address their security concerns while preserving the free flow of humanitarian aid and life-saving commercial imports".

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