Last Update 10:59
Thursday, 18 July 2019

UN envoy returns to Yemen's Sanaa for fresh talks

Wednesday 25 Jul 2018
Martin Griffiths
Martin Griffiths, the United Nation's special envoy for Yemen, arrives at Sanaa international airport on July 25, 2018. (Photo: AFP)
Share/Bookmark
Views: 3445
Share/Bookmark
Views: 3445

The UN's Yemen envoy returned to the capital Sanaa on Wednesday for fresh talks with rebels, as the government threatens to resume its offensive on a key port city if mediation fails.

Pro-government forces backed up by a coalition led by Saudi Arabia have paused their assault on Hodeida port in a bid they say to give UN-led peace efforts a chance.

UN envoy Martin Griffiths has been pushing for weeks to relaunch negotiations between Yemen's internationally recognised government and Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

The government is looking for the Houthis to withdraw from Hodeida before peace talks can resume and insists Yemeni authorities must take control of the city.

A senior official said the government would accept the presence of international observers to "oversee the management of the port and the delivery of financial revenues" to the central bank it controls.

If mediation fails, pro-government forces warn they could restart the offensive on the vital lifeline port, which has sparked fears that it could worsen the dire humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

"Our forces are ready and waiting for the green light to resume the attack on the city of Hodeida if the international envoy's mission fails," a Yemeni military official told AFP.

Rebel leader Abdulmalik al-Houthi said in an interview last week with Le Figaro that he was ready to hand over control of Hodeida's port to the UN if pro-government forces stopped the offensive.

Griffiths arrived at Sanaa's airport at noon and headed immediately to his residence without making a statement to the press, an AFP photographer said.

The envoy's visit to Sanaa comes after meetings in Riyadh on Sunday with Yemeni government officials, who demanded the rebels release all detainees.

Hodeida's port is the entry point for some 70 percent of imports in a country where eight million people face imminent famine.

The Red Sea port has been controlled by the rebels since 2014, when they drove the government out of the capital Sanaa and much of the country.

The government and the Saudi-led alliance accuse the Iran-backed rebels of receiving smuggled weapons through Hodeida and have demanded their unconditional withdrawal from the city.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other allies intervened in the conflict between Yemen's government and rebels in March 2015, aiming to push back the Houthis and restore the internationally recognised government to power.

Nearly 10,000 people have been killed in the Yemen conflict since the 2015 intervention, 2,200 of them children.

Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's
Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
Latest

© 2010 Ahram Online.