Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Clashes near Yemens Hodeidah as UN seeks truce

Clashes near Yemens Hodeidah as UN seeks truce

It said the UAE had given the agency a notice to evacuate.

He also announced that humanitarian shipment permits were being granted regularly, and that humanitarian aid has been flowing continuously into all parts of Yemen.

A US -backed, Saudi-led military coalition is fighting against the Houthis on behalf of the government of President Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi, who lives in exile in Riyadh.

"We are, at the present moment, in intense consultation", UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told reporters on Monday. "I hope that it will be possible to avoid a battle for Hodeidah".

The UN pulled all of its worldwide staff out of Al Hodeidah early on Monday morning.

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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 Hodeida open to shipments of aid and commercial goods.

Previous UN efforts have failed to end the war.

The United Nations fears that a battle in Hodeidah could be devastating for the estimated 600,000 people still living in the city.

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".

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". The UN has already dubbed Yemen the world's worst humanitarian disaster.

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Militarily, one source predicted that "a wider campaign that involves serious coalition firepower ... makes it unlikely that the Houthis will be able to hold the city or its port for more than a few weeks".

The source, based in Hodeidah, pointed out that ferocious armed confrontations are now underway in different areas near the city's main entrances.

The spokesman for the Arab coalition in Yemen, Colonel Turki al-Malki, condemned the Houthi threat against relief organizations and voiced the importance of protecting relief workers.

Yemen's minister of human rights Mohamad Askar summed up the dilemma. The fighting has escalated as government forces close in on the Red Sea port of Hodeida, a vital lifeline through which most of Yemen's food and medicine enters.

The three-year conflict has killed more than 10,000 people and displaced more than 3 million.

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