Yemeni gov't official: Griffiths failed to free Lollesgaard movement from Houthi bounds

Hodeida (Debriefer)
2019-05-08 | Since 3 Month

Martin Griffiths

اضغط هنا لقراءة الخبر بالعربية

UN envoy to Yemen has failed to persuade Houthi group into allowing the head of Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC) access to government-held areas, said an official at the Yemeni internationally-recognized government Wednesday.

Envoy Martin Griffiths failed to convince Houthis to withdraw from Hodeida and its ports or to lift their bounds out of movement of RCC head, Michael Lollesgaard, spokesman for western coast operations told Asharq Al-Awsat paper.

Government team in RCC has not been able to see General Lollesgaard who has been denied access by Houthis to areas under government control in Hodeida, Wadhah al-Dobaish added.

He attributed Houthi denial to their reluctance to demine roads that had to be taken by the RCC's head and his convoy to reach government sites.

"It seems that removal of Houthi mines and explosive devices requireslongtime and effort from the group that would need to replant them after the convoy has passed," said Dobaish.

The UN general "can no longer write but inaccurate, misleading reports on the real situation in Hodeida, without talking about Houthi militias' lack of seriousness to apply the pact.

"Houthi obduracy has led the UN senior monitor to send a letter asking the government team head, General Sagheer bin Aziz, to locate another venue in Aden or Riyadh for meeting next Sunday and Monday."

The official government and its forces, after the 15th of this May, "will take a decision on a new course" to cope with the UN persistent leniency towards the militias," the spokesman added.

The UN envoy is expected to brief on the latest developments in Hodeida at the UN Security Council meetingmid-May, the date set by the Quartet (KSA, UAE, UK and US) for rivals to start redeployment in Hodeida.

The UN special arrived last Sunday in Sana'a as part of his pressureson Houthis to accelerate their troopswithdrawal from the Red Sea city and its three ports.

But Griffiths faced new Houthi preconditions, including the reopening of Sana'a airport, facilitating of oil export, halting the economic measures newly adopted by government, and repatriating of their interior minister's body from Beirut.

Yemen has been racked by bloody conflict between the government and Houthis who have taken over Sana'a the capital and most populated areas in the north since late in 2014, triggering what the UN calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

Parties to the 4-year war in Yemen, after 8-day peace talks in Sweden, reached on the 13th of last December an agreement providing for ceasefire in Hodeida and redeployment of both sides' forces, exchanging prisoners and alleviating blockade imposed by Houthis on Taiz.

But none of this has taken place so far, with both sides trading blames for trying to thwart the deal.

The Red Sea city of Hodeida and its ports have been under Houthi control since late 2014, while Yemeni joint forces loyal to legitimate government and Arab coalition have massed at the city's fringes since last November seeking to retake the strategic port.

Yemen 4-year war hastriggered what the UN calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with most of the population in need for a type of humanitarian aid and immediate protection, including 14 million people risking famine and some 1.8 million children suffering malnutrition.

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