Yemen’s Hodeidah residents desperate for port to reopen

Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the UN secretary-general, said the militias also failed to honor an agreement to open a “humanitarian” corridor between Hodeidah and Sanaa. (Reuters)

Residents of the Red Sea port of Hodeidah on Sunday lamented the state of their city, which is under the Houthi militias’ control, and expressed hope that the roads and the harbor will be reopened.

Yemen's Houthi militias said on Saturday they handed over control of the Hodeidah port to the coast guard under the Sweden agreement, but the government denied this, saying it was a ploy by them to maintain control.

The United Nations on Sunday also cast doubt on the Houthi claims to have withdrawn from the port, saying such steps can only be credible if all other parties can verify them.

Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the UN secretary-general, said the militias also failed to honor an agreement to open a “humanitarian” corridor between Hodeidah and the capital, Sanaa, to deliver assistance.

Resident Khaled al-Zubaidi said Hodeida had become “a city of ghosts.”

The confidence-building measures agreed in Sweden this month, which include an exchange of prisoners, could pave the way for a political settlement of Yemen's 4-year-old war, which pits the Iran-aligned Houthis against the legitimate government.

The two sides had also agreed to a cease-fire in Hodeidah but the Arac Coalition announced that the militias have violated the ceasefire agreement several times.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 14:04 - GMT 11:04
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