The leader of the Ansar Allah movement (also known as the Houthis) in Yemen claims he will not reject the UN’s supervisory role in Hudaydah, but only if the Saudi-led coalition ends its weeks-long aggression against the Red Sea port city.
On July 5th, Thursday, the UN security council said that “all parties” should work towards a political solution for Yemen, repeating a call for the key port Hudaydah to remain open. The port is the entry point of about 70% of imports to Yemen. Close to eight million face famine there and it is used to provide humanitarian aid to 22 million Yemenis depending on it, NTH News reports.
Abdul-Malik Badreddin al-Houthi, in an interview with Le Figaro has informed the special UN special envoy Martin Griffiths that he is willing to place Hudaydah under supervision from the world organization. However, the National reports that the Ansar Allah chief refuses to completely withdraw from the port.
Yemen’s humanitarian crisis was worsened when on June 13th, the Saudi-UAE coalition, which backs Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, Yemen’s former president begun an offensive on Hudaydah. The advance is supported by militants loyal to Hadi, Emirati forces and Saudi-led airstrikes. So far, the Saudi-led coalition has failed to achieve any significant success against the Houthi forces and their allies.
Amid a lack of the military progress, the offensive was suspended to allow for mediation, led by the UN representative Griffiths.
The Saudi-led alliance intervened in Yemen in March 2015, at the request of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi to help restore the government’s power and push back the Houth-led alliance, after it took control of the capital Sanaa. Since then it has assisted in the recapturing of large parts of Southern Yemen. The current capital of the Saudi-backed government, the port city of Aden was one of those capture targets.
The coalition demands that the Houthis must completely withdraw from Hudaydah, while the movement only agrees to shared control of the city.
Griffiths, on the diplomatic front, has, according to reports by PressTV, been pushing for a deal in which the Houthis place Hudaydah under the supervision of an UN-monitored committee. The UAE completely rejects this option, demanding the unconditional withdrawal of the Houthis from the city.
Quoted by Press TV the Houthi Chief commented “It is strange to demand that the Yemenis pull out of their city of Hudaydah for handing it over to the United Arab Emirates, which is committing an act of aggression against us. Such a demand violates international conventions. It is as if the United Kingdom called on the French to abandon Paris or another city and give it up to the British. It is not logical.”
He also further censured France for “contributing to Arab-led aggression” in Yemen for the selling of weapons to the aggressors. Furthermore, he added that France should contribute to peace and that many Western countries consider war as an economic interest and to the detriment of human rights, PressTV reports.
So far the war has led to the killing and injury of over 600,000 civilians, according to the last figures released by the Yemeni Ministry of Human Rights.
PressTV also reports that apart from France, the UK and US have also been providing the Saudi-led coalition with military equipment during the campaign, which has drawn stark criticisms from various human rights groups and the international community.