Heavy clashes near Yemen's Hodeidah as UN seeks ceasefire

Remigio Civitarese
Giugno 14, 2018

Worldwide aid group Doctors Without Borders said Monday the Saudi-led coalition attacked a cholera treatment center in the northern province of Hajja.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, an attack could cost as many as 250,000 people "everything - even their lives", and humanitarian organizations have warned that damage to the port, which accounts for the vast majority of the country's food and fuel imports, could tip Yemen into a long-warned-of starvation.

Oxfam's Yemen Country Director, Mohsin Siddiquey, said aid groups were "moving very fast" to evacuate staff in Hodeidah before the imminently expected attack has a "catastrophic impact". "I hope that it will be possible to avoid a battle for Hudeida", Guterres said.

Though there has been some suggestion that the Houthis could give the port city to the United Nations to administer, avoiding it either being attacked or the port closed to humanitarian aid.

A Saudi-led coalition, which includes the UAE, has been in a virtual stalemate with the Houthis since a coalition offensive began in March of 2015.

Previous UN efforts have failed to end the war.

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The United Nations pulled all of its global staff out of Hodeida early Monday morning.

The coalition backing Yemen government troops has been closing in on Hodeida after accusing Houthi rebels of smuggling weapons through the port.

The United States urged all parties of the conflict to ensure humanitarian access to the Yemeni people, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday.

The letter comes after the United Nations and humanitarian groups reported over the weekend they were warned by the United Arab Emirates to evacuate Hodeida by Tuesday.

"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. He is due to brief the U.N. Security Council later this month.

The following year, Saudi Arabia, together with several other Arab nations, launched a military campaign in support of Yemen's internationally recognised government aiming to roll back advances made by Houthi rebels after they overran much of the country in 2014.

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