UN envoy arrives in Riyadh as calm returns to Yemen’s Hodeidah

UN envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths (C) had attended a meeting with the President of the Houthi Revolutionary Committee, in the capital Sanaa, on Nov. 24, 2018. (File/AFP/Mohammed Huwais)
Updated 26 November 2018

UN envoy arrives in Riyadh as calm returns to Yemen’s Hodeidah

  • Fighting had intensified in early November as coalition-backed loyalist forces attempted to enter Hodeida
  • While the loyalist advance on Hodeida has largely stalled, minor clashes have continued

ADEN: The United Nations’ Yemen envoy arrived in Riyadh on Monday as part of efforts to convene December peace talks between the internationally recognized government and Houthi militia.
Martin Griffiths’ visit comes as fighting eased around the Houthi-held port  of Hodeidah, a vital lifeline for imports and aid, which has been the target of a Yemeni military offensive backed by the Arab Coaltion, whioch includes Saudi Arabia.
Fighting had intensified in early November as coalition-backed loyalist forces attempted to enter Hodeidah, but calm returned after Griffiths arrived in Yemen on Wednesday.

A oalition spokesman said on Monday that efforts are continuing towards peace negotiations expected to take place in Sweden, despite efforts by the Iran-backed Houthis to block them..

The UN said the envoy, who also visited Hodeidah last week to assess the humanitarian situation, is due to hold talks with Yemen’s legitimate government in Riyadh on Monday.
Military officials quoted by the state-run Saba news agency on Sunday evening said the government forces foiled a Houthi “infiltration attempt” into a camp in Hays province, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) south of Hodeidah.
The Houthis said they had detonated an explosive device near the eastern entrance of Hodeidah, “destroying a (pro-government) military vehicle... killing and wounding soldiers inside,” Houthi-run Al-Masirah reported on Monday.
But pro-government military officials told AFP on Monday that government forces’ operations in the east and south of the Red Sea city had been suspended.

Former Egyptian president Morsi buried in Cairo: lawyer

Updated 18 June 2019

Former Egyptian president Morsi buried in Cairo: lawyer

  • Morsi, was suffering from a benign tumor, had continuous medical attention, says state TV
  • The former president died aged 67

CAIRO: Egypt’s first democratically elected president Mohammed Morsi was buried on Tuesday in eastern Cairo, one of his lawyers said, a day after he collapsed in court and died.

“He was buried in Medinat Nasr, in eastern Cairo, with his family present. The funeral prayer was said in Tora prison hospital” where he was declared dead on Monday, his lawyer Abdel Moneim Abdel Maksoud said.

Egyptian state television announced that Morsi, 67, who was ousted by the military on July 3, 2013, had been attending a court session at his trial on charges of espionage and links with the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

It was reported that he collapsed in the courtroom inside a glass cage he and others had been sharing, before his body was transferred to a local hospital.

Morsi died from a sudden heart attack, state television reported early on Tuesday, citing a medical source. The source said the former president, who was suffering from a benign tumor, had continuous medical attention.

Attorney-General Nabil Sadiq issued a statement saying: “The accused, Mohammed Morsi, in the presence of the other defendants inside the cage, fell unconscious, where he was immediately transferred to the hospital.

“The preliminary medical report stated that by external medical examination they found no pulse, no breathing, and his eyes were unresponsive to light. He died at 4:50 p.m. and no apparent injuries to the body were found.”

Sadiq added he had ordered the transfer of teams from the Supreme State Security Prosecution Office and the Southern Cairo Prosecution Office to conduct an investigation into Morsi’s death, and to examine surveillance footage from the courtroom and collect witness testimonies.

He also ordered that a senior forensic committee headed by the chief medical officer and the director of forensic medicine to prepare a forensic report on the cause of death.

Various outlets say that a state of high alert has been issued by the military and the Ministry of the Interior throughout the country following the news, for fear of riots or activity by the Muslim Brotherhood, in which Morsi was a prominent figure.

Morsi became president in June 2012 after the first democratic elections in the country following the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak on Jan. 25, 2011. He was Egypt’s fifth president.

He was born to a family of farmers on Aug. 20, 1951, in the village of Al-Adwa in Sharkia province. He married in 1978 and leaves behind his wife, five children and three grandchildren.

Following his deposition and arrest, Morsi was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment on Oct. 22, 2016, over bloody clashes that took place on Dec. 5, 2012 in front of the presidential palace in Cairo, between supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and opponents of Morsi rejecting a constitutional declaration issued in November of that year.

Other sentences meant his total incarceration could have been up to 48 years, with the ongoing espionage case potentially carrying a further maximum sentence of 25 years.

In Istanbul on Tuesday, hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters took to the streets, mourning former Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi and some chanting slogans blaming Cairo authorities for his death.

* With AFP