Yemeni president accuses UN envoy of bias towards Houthis

Yemen War
File AFP

UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi accused the United Nations envoy, Martin Griffith, of bias against the Houthi rebels in a letter he sent to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and was read to AFP on Friday.

Hadi said in the letter that Griffith “worked to provide guarantees to the Houthi militias to stay in Hodeidah and its ports under the umbrella of the United Nations.”

On May 14, the United Nations announced that the Houthis had withdrawn from the ports of Hodeidah, Salif and Ras Issa in implementation of the first step in the Stockholm accords, a breakthrough in UN efforts to end the war in Yemen.

But the forces loyal to Hadi said that what had been a “trick” and that the rebels still control the ports because they handed them to the Coast Guard loyal to them.

“We will give a final and final opportunity to the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Martin Griffith, to confirm his commitment to the three terms of reference in all his efforts and to enforce the Stockholm Agreement,” Hadi said in his letter.

The Swedish agreements provided for a cease-fire in the province of Hodeidah, the withdrawal of all fighters from the port of Hodeidah and the other two ports in the north of the province, and the withdrawal of the Houthis and government forces from the entire city of Hodeidah, the center of the province of the same name.

“I also want to stress that I can not accept the excesses that your Special Envoy is offering and that threaten to break the chances of a solution that the people are looking for,” he said.

Griffith warned Wednesday before the UN Security Council that despite the withdrawal of Houthi rebels from the ports of the city of Hodeidah, Yemen still faces the risk of renewed all-out war.

For his part, the head of the Coordination Committee for the redeployment of the Danish General Michael Lollesgaard told journalists through a video from Hodeidah that the delivery of Houthis to the ports will be verified by all parties at a later stage.

Talks on the second phase of the redeployment, which will include the withdrawal of pro-government forces and Houthis from the city of Hodeidah, continue, but Lollesgaard refused to give a timetable for the withdrawal.

The withdrawal was delayed because of disagreements over how to form local security forces to be deployed in those ports.

Griffith acknowledged that the first phase of the withdrawal was incomplete and that local security forces were being negotiated.

The war in Yemen has been waged between rebels accused of receiving support from Iran and pro-government forces since 2014 and escalated with the intervention of a Saudi-led military alliance in March in support of the internationally recognized government.

“We are there (in Hodeidah) to make sure that the Houthi withdrawal from Hodeidah is real,” said Anwar Gargash, the UAE’s minister of state for foreign affairs, whose country is part of the coalition leadership,” he said.

The conflict in Yemen has killed tens of thousands of people, including many civilians, according to various humanitarian organizations.

There are still 3.3 million displaced people, while 24.1 million people, more than two thirds of the population, need assistance, according to the United Nations, which describes the humanitarian crisis in Yemen as the worst in the world today.

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