UN envoy Griffiths arrives in Sanaa after redeployment meetings between Yemen sides

The UN special envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths said he held a "productive meeting" with Saudi Arabia's Prince Khalid bin Salman on Monday in Jeddah. (AFP/File Photo)
Updated 17 July 2019

UN envoy Griffiths arrives in Sanaa after redeployment meetings between Yemen sides

  • UN envoy Martin Griffiths held a "productive meeting" with Saudi Arabia's deputy defense minister Prince Khalid bin Salman
  • UN Security Council votes unanimously to extend its ceasefire observation mission in Hodeidah by six months

UN special envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths arrived in Sanaa on Tuesday, after redeployment meetings between the Yemeni government and the Houthi militia.

The UN on Monday said Yemen's warring sides have agreed on a "mechanism and new measures to reinforce the ceasefire and de-escalation" around the flashpoint port of Hodeidah, as well as technical aspects of a troop pullback.

Representatives of the Yemeni government and Houthi militia were picked up at different locations by a UN ship and held talks in the Red Sea off Yemen, the first such meeting since February, a UN statement said.

Earlier, Griffiths said he held a "productive meeting" with Saudi Arabia's deputy defense minister Prince Khalid bin Salman on Monday in Jeddah.

Tweeting about the meeting, Griffiths said he discussed with Prince Khalid how to keep Yemen out of ongoing regional tensions and how to make progress in the implementation of the Stockholm agreement with the support of the Kingdom.

Also Monday, the UN Security Council voted unanimously to extend its ceasefire observation mission in Hodeidah by six months, until Jan. 15, 2020.

It also called on Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to deploy a full contingent of observers "expeditiously" in the mission, which is mandated to have 75 staff but currently only has 20 on the ground.
The text adopted  Monday stressed that the UN mission should "monitor the compliance of the parties to the ceasefire in Hodeida governorate and the mutual redeployment of forces from the city of Hodeida and the ports of Hodeida, Salif and Ras Issa."
The monitors should work with the parties so that the security of the area "is assured by local security forces in accordance with Yemeni law."
It also called on all parties involved in the Hodeida Agreement to support UN efforts by ensuring the safety of the monitors and affording all personnel and supplies swift and unfettered movement.
Under the agreement made in Stockholm at the end of 2018, all warring factions were supposed to have withdrawn their troops from the strategic port city in western Yemen.
Last month, Houthi militants balked at providing visas for UN observers stationed off the coast on board a UN vessel.
*With Reuters and AFP


UN envoy hails 'tireless' Saudi efforts to restore order in south Yemen

Updated 20 August 2019

UN envoy hails 'tireless' Saudi efforts to restore order in south Yemen

  • Griffiths made the comments following ‘positive meeting’ with Saudi official
  • The UN envoy said they agreed on the need for continuous dialogue

JEDDAH: The United Nations envoy to Yemen praised the “tireless role” played by Saudi Arabia in restoring stability to the country’s south.
Griffiths made the comments on Tuesday after a “positive and engaging meeting” with the Kingdom’s Deputy Minister of Defense Khalid bin Salman.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE at the weekend oversaw the withdrawal of southern separatists from positions they had seized from the Yemeni government in the temporary capital Aden.
The Arab coalition, which includes the two Gulf countries, ordered that the fighters stand down and they revert to helping the government fight the Iran-backed Houthi militants, which controls the north.
Griffiths praised the Kingdom’s “tireless role under Khalid bin Salman’s leadership to restore order and stability in south Yemen.” 


“We agreed on the need for continuous dialogue,” he added in a tweet.
Yemen’s latest crisis erupted when southern separatist forces seized the presidential palace and army camps in Aden.
Dozens of people, including civilians, were killed in violent clashes.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE urged Yemenis to observe a cease-fire in Aden and resolve their differences through dialogue.
The separatists, who want an independent south Yemen, had agreed to support the government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to defeat the Houthis from the north who sparked the conflict in 2014 when they seized Sanaa.
But tensions between the separatists and Hadi’s forces have spilled over on a number of occasions in Aden.