Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

United Nations in 'intense negotiations' to avert attack on Hudeida

United Nations in 'intense negotiations' to avert attack on Hudeida

For the past two weeks, Yemen government troops - backed by the Arab coalition that intervened in the war at the request of the internationally-recognised government of Mr Hadi - have been closing in on Al Hodeidah, which the Houthi rebels have been using to smuggle in weapons supplied by Iran. "I hope that it will be possible to avoid a battle for Hodeidah". He estimates that over a million people live in the greater Hodeidah area which is expected to be targeted in the offensive.

Griffiths, who briefed the council by video conference from Amman, has revived a year-old plan to turn over Hodeida port to a neutral party, diplomats said.

Global aid group Doctors Without Borders said Monday the Saudi-led coalition attacked a cholera treatment center in the northern province of Hajja.

Pompeo said the United States is "closely following developments" in Hodeida, home to 600,000 people and the point of entry of 70 percent of Yemen's imports.

Most countries have since withdrawn their forces from the coalition, with only Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates conducting attacks in Yemen. The also pushing the militants to turn over arms in exchange for an end to the bombing campaign and a transitional governance deal.

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

"We expect all parties to honor their commitments to work with the UN Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary General for Yemen on this issue, support a political process to resolve this conflict, ensure humanitarian access to the Yemeni people, and map a stable political future for Yemen".

Hodeidah handled 90 percent of the nation's foodstuffs and the humanitarian aid flow before the war, and periodic Saudi blockades of the port since 2015 have heightened fears of starvation and compounded aid agencies' response to a deadly cholera outbreak past year.

The lawmakers also want more transparency about the USA role in Yemen, The Hill reported. United Nations staff operating out of the port ae already being withdrawn, anticipating the calamity to come.

An alarming 22.2 million people in Yemen - the Arab world's poorest country - need some kind of humanitarian or protection assistance, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

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