UN envoy to Yemen advises Houthis to hand over Hodeidah

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The UN’s envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffith, advised the Houthi militias to withdraw from Hodeidah so it can be placed under the UN’s supervision.

According to political sources in Sanaa, the militias’ leaders showed some willingness to accept Griffith’s request.

Griffith told Houthi leaders that the first step towards reaching a political solution is for them to withdraw from Hodeidah and its strategic ports. Only then can they participate in negotiations, local sources said.

The Houthis now face a tough choice of either withdrawing from the city completely, or facing intensive military operations by the Yemeni government to push them out.

They Yemeni parliament on Monday released a statement warning of Houthi plans to turn the Hodeidah port into a means of smuggling in weapons and artillery, and controlling entry of humanitarian aid through there.

“The militia has designated the Hodeidah port for its own benefit and what it calls the war effort that kills Yemenis,” the statement said.

The parliament also warned of the repercussions of not working towards a political solution. They pointed out the Houthis’ strategy of looking for “temporary improvements veering away from an actual solution” and that this will not serve “the peace that the Yemenis look forward to, and gives the rebels the opportunity to regroup their forces and continue to recruit new people including children and the poor, sending them to their death.”

Parliament blocs called on the international community and Griffith to relieve the humanitarian crisis that Yemen is going through by forcing the Houthis to adhere to international laws.
The blocs also mentioned the Houthi blockade arounf the city of Taiz, stressing the need to remove it.

Meanwhile, the Arab Coalition carried out a series of air raids on Monday morning targeting Houthi military groupings in Hodeidah.

Local sources said that the raids destroyed a Houthi convoy in north east Hodeidah which resulted in the loss of several armed vehicles and tens of militiamen who were on the way from Sanaa to Hodeidah.

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