Fears grow of imminent attack on main humanitarian port in Yemen

14 Junio, 2018, 02:03 | Author: Kelly Blake
  • Fears grow of imminent attack on main humanitarian port in Yemen

A USA -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.

The rebels control much of northern Yemen, including the capital, Sanaa.

"Our message is clear. if this assault happens then it would be very hard to imagine how hard the situation the people in Yemen, particularly in Hodeidah, will be in", said Muhsin Siddiqui, country director of Oxfam.

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 missile hit the province of Jizan in southern Saudi Arabia which borders Yemen.

The UN said last week that up to 250,000 people could die if the port is attacked or besieged.

Around 70 per cent of Yemen's imports, including the vast majority of its food, comes through Hodeidah and the port is described as the country's "lifeline".

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said there were "intense negotiations" by his UN envoy Martin Griffiths on the fate of the port.

The following year, UN-sponsored peace talks held in Kuwait failed to produce any tangible breakthroughs. This offensive directly undermines stated United States government policy of preventing an attack on Hudaydah, supporting peace negotiations, and working to alleviate Yemen's humanitarian crisis.

The Saudi-led coalition faces widespread global criticism for its air attacks in Yemen that have killed many civilians. "We have dozens of United Nations staff still in Hudeidah", Lowcock said.

Maintaining open corridors for the aid and avoiding a humanitarian crisis in a city inhabited by half a million people is the priority for Washington, he said.

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".

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he had spoken with Emirati leaders and urged them to work with the United Nations but his statement fell short of warning the coalition against launching an all-out offensive. The UN has already dubbed Yemen the world's worst humanitarian disaster.

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