UN hosts renewed talks on contested Yemeni port city

UN hosts renewed talks on contested Yemeni port city
Newly recruited Houthi fighters chant slogans as they ride a military vehicle during a gathering in the capital Sanaa. (File/AFP)
Short Url
Updated 18 December 2019

UN hosts renewed talks on contested Yemeni port city

UN hosts renewed talks on contested Yemeni port city

SANAA: Yemen’s warring parties have renewed talks on how to implement a year-old truce in the contested port city of Hodeidah.
The two days of meetings are taking place on a boat off the coast of the city, according to a statement by the United Nations mission tasked with supporting the agreement. Previous negotiations between the Iran-backed Houthi militia and the Arab coalition fighting in support of the internationally recognized government have repeatedly collapsed. The war is five years old.
The warring sides signed a UN-brokered agreement last December in Sweden that included a cease-fire for Hodeidah and an exchange of more than 15,000 prisoners. But the deal was never fully implemented.
This week’s talks are centered on how both sides will redeploy forces from strategic areas in Hodeidah, which has seen some of the war’s worst fighting, and on who will oversee administration of the country’s most important shipping port. They come amid a renewed push for peace.
The UN envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, was also in the Houthi-held capital of Sanaa for meetings with Houthi officials on Monday.
Last week, several international aid groups warned that Hodeidah remains the most dangerous place in the war-torn, impoverished Arab country. Since December of last year, the groups said in a statement that the port city and surrounding province has seen 799 civilians killed and wounded, the highest toll nationwide.
Yemen’s conflict began in 2014, when the Iran-backed Shiite militia known as Houthis overran the capital, Sanaa, and much of the north. They pushed out Yemen’s internationally recognized government and ushered in the civil war that has killed tens of thousands of people.