UN warns of rotting food access in Yemen

             By Riyaz ul Khaliq </p>    <p>ANKARA (AA) - The UN renewed its call for access to food stored at the Red Sea storage facility. </p>    <p>“Food aid for millions of Yemenis is at risk of rotting in a key Red Sea storage facility because conditions are too unsafe to reach it,” UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths and Mark Lowcock, UN Emergency relief chief, said in a joint statement on Monday. </p>    <p>On Friday, Lowcock said that nearly 10 million people across Yemen remained “just a step away from famine” because the large food depot -- Red Sea Mills -- on the outskirts of Hudaydah had been &quot;out of bounds&quot; since last September. </p>    <p>“Urgency of getting to the Red Sea Mills in the key port city of Hudaydah was growing day by day,” said the UN official.</p>    <p>The UN statement said that there was “enough food” to feed 3.7 million people for a month” at the food facility.</p>    <p>“With safe, unfettered and sustained access, the United Nations can make this urgently needed food available to people in need,” Lowcock said.</p>    <p>Ensuring access to the mills is a “shared responsibility” of the parties in the Yemen conflict, emphasized Lowcock and Griffiths emphasized in an appeal to Yemeni President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi and Houthi militia.</p>      <p>Impoverished Yemen has remained wracked by violence since 2014, when the Houthis overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa.

The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies — who accuse the Shia Houthis of serving as Iranian proxies — launched a massive air campaign in Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi gains.

Yemen: UN envoy arrives in rebel-held Sanaa for talks

By Mohamed al-Samei

SANAA, Yemen (AA) – UN peace envoy Martin Griffiths and head of UN observer mission Michael Lollesgaard arrived in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Monday.

Griffiths will hold talks with Houthi rebels on ways of implementing a UN-brokered ceasefire in the coastal province of Al-Hudaydah, said a local source on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

The UN envoy will also meet with Lollesgaard, who arrived in the rebel-held capital from the southern city of Aden, the source said.

On December 13, Yemeni peace talks held in Sweden concluded with a ceasefire deal in Al-Hudaydah between Houthis and the Yemeni government.

However, the warring parties have failed to withdraw from the province amid accusations of breaching the agreement.

Impoverished Yemen has remained dogged by violence since 2014, when the Houthis overran much of the country, including Sanaa.

New UN mission head arrives in Yemen's Hudaydah

By Murad Arifi

ADEN, Yemen (AA) – The new head of UN observer mission in Yemen's coastal Al-Hudaydah province, General Michael Lollesgaard, arrived in Sanaa on Tuesday.

A UN aircraft carrying Lollesgaard and six assistants arrived in the Houthi-held city from Jordanian capital Amman, according to an Anadolu Agency reporter in the area.

Lollesgaard, a retired Danish general, was appointed last week by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to lead UN monitors in Al-Hudaydah, replacing Dutch general Patrick Cammaert.

He will observe the implementation of a ceasefire deal reached by the Yemeni government and Houthi rebels during their UN-brokered peace talks in Sweden last month.

Lollesgaard had headed the UN mission in Mali in the period between 2015-2016.

Impoverished Yemen has remained dogged by violence since 2014, when Shia Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa.

UN envoy arrives in Yemen's Hudaydah

By Mohamed al-Samei

SANAA (AA) – UN envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths arrived in the Houthi-held Al-Hudaydah province on Tuesday, according to a Yemeni official.

Griffiths will hold talks with general Patrick Cammaert, the head of UN team tasked with monitoring a cease-fire deal between the Yemeni government and Houthi rebels in the strategic province, the official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

On Monday, the UN envoy held talks with leaders of the rebel Houthi group in Sanaa.

His arrival came one day after Yemeni Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Yamani said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has pledged a Houthi withdrawal from Al-Hudaydah.

Last month, the Yemeni government and Houthi rebels held UN-brokered peace talks in Sweden, which resulted in a ceasefire agreement in Al-Hudaydah.

However, the warring parties have failed to withdraw from the province amid accusations of breaching the truce, and fighting continued in other parts of the country.

Impoverished Yemen has remained dogged by violence since 2014, when Shia Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa.

UN chief pledges Houthi pullout from Hudaydah: Yemen

By Mohammed al-Samei

SANAA (AA) – UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has pledged a Houthi withdrawal from the coastal province of Al-Hudaydah, Yemeni Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Yamani said Sunday.

"During a meeting on Saturday, the UN Secretary-General promised not to let the Yemeni people down," al-Yamani said on Twitter.

“Guterres said Al-Hudaydah agreement will be implemented, and the Houthis will leave the city and the ports as a first step towards achieving peace in Yemen," he added.

The top Yemeni diplomat has held a series of talks with officials in New York, including Guterres, Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah and UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo.

Last month, the Yemeni government and Houthi rebels held UN-brokered peace talks in Sweden, which resulted in a ceasefire deal in Al-Hudaydah.

However, the warring parties have failed to withdraw from the province amid accusations of breaching the truce, and fighting continued in other parts of the country.

Impoverished Yemen has remained dogged by violence since 2014, when Shia Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa.

GCC urges UN envoy to pressure Houthis to exit Hudaydah

                             By Ali Oweida</p>    <p>RIYADH (AA) - The Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has called on UN envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths to play a “more active” role in persuading Houthi rebels to withdraw from Yemen’s strategic port city of Al-Hudaydah.<br>

The council chief Abdel-Latif al-Zayani met Griffiths on Tuesday in the Saudi capital Riyadh where they discussed political, security and humanitarian developments in Yemen.

According to a GCC statement, al-Zayani stressed the need for stepped-up UN efforts to force the Houthis to abide by the terms of a truce — hammered out last month in Stockholm — and withdraw from the port city.

He also called for greater international efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to the war-weary people of Yemen.

Home to several strategic seaports, Al-Hudaydah constitutes a lifeline for Yemen's beleaguered civilian population, with significant amounts of aid regularly flowing through the port city.

During UN-sponsored peace talks in Stockholm last month, Yemen's warring parties agreed to withdraw their forces from Al-Hudaydah and adhere to a ceasefire.

In late December, the UN Security Council adopted a U.K.-sponsored resolution approving the deployment of a UN team tasked with monitoring the truce.

In a related development, the Yemeni government on Tuesday said it would not participate in any fresh rounds of peace talks until the Houthis had implemented the terms of the Stockholm agreement.

At a meeting in Riyadh between Yemeni Foreign Minister Khaled al-Yemany and ambassadors from the “Group of 18” (G18), the former briefed the diplomats on the outcome of the agreement “and the UN's role in this regard”, according to Yemen’s government-affiliated Saba Net news agency.

At the meeting, al-Yemany reportedly urged G18 ambassadors to “play a greater role in pressuring the Houthis to comply with international resolutions and the Stockholm agreement”, which formally came into effect on Dec. 13.

The Yemeni FM went on to accuse the Houthis of “violating the ceasefire, re-entrenching their militants and taking advantage of the truce to consolidate their military position”.

The ambassadors responded by describing the Stockholm agreement as “the only way to achieve peace in Yemen and restore security there”.

Impoverished Yemen has remained dogged by violence since 2014, when the Houthi rebel group overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa.

The following year, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched a massive air campaign in Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi gains and shoring up the country’s pro-Saudi government.

The campaign has devastated much of Yemen’s basic infrastructure, including health and sanitation systems, prompting the UN to describe the situation there as “one of the worst humanitarian disasters of modern times”.

Houthi rebels redeploy forces in Yemen’s Hudaydah

By Mohamed al-Samei

SANAA (AA) – Houthi rebels have started to redeploy their forces in Yemen’s coastal city of Al-Hudaydah, according to a Houthi spokesman on Saturday.

“Army and popular committee forces started late Friday the first phase of redeployment in Al-Hudaydah,” Bri. Gen. Yahya Sari said in a statement cited by the Houthi-run Saba news agency.

He said the redeployment was part of the UN-brokered agreement with the government reached during peace talks in Sweden earlier this month.

“We expect the UN Monitoring Committee to oblige the other party to implement its obligations under the first phase of the Stockholm agreement, to withdraw from the eastern side of the city and the rest of…areas,” he said.

There was no comment from the Yemeni government on the Houthi announcement.

Home to several strategic seaports, Al-Hudaydah constitutes a lifeline for Yemen's beleaguered civilian population, with significant amounts of humanitarian aid regularly flowing through the port city.

Yemen's warring parties agreed earlier this month to withdraw their forces from the Red Sea port city and institute a ceasefire during UN-sponsored talks in Sweden.

Last week, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a British-sponsored resolution approving the deployment of a UN team to monitor Al-Hudaydah ceasefire.

Yemen plunged into civil war in 2014 when Shia Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital, Sana’a, forcing the government to flee to Saudi Arabia.

A year later, Saudi Arabia and several Arab allies launched a massive air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi military gains.

The Saudi-led campaign in Yemen has devastated the country's infrastructure, including its health and sanitation systems, prompting the UN to describe it as one of the worst humanitarian disasters of modern times.

Yemen rebels announce deal on Hudaydah aid delivery

By Mohamed al-Samei

SANAA (AA) – Yemen’s Houthi rebels on Saturday announced a deal with the government to reopen a road between Sanaa and the port city of Al-Hudaydah to allow access to relief aid.

“An initial agreement has been reached between Houthi and government representatives to reopen the main road between Sanaa and Al-Hudaydah,” Houthi negotiator Hamid Assem told Anadolu Agency.

He, however, did not give an exact date for reopening the road, which was shut months ago due to fighting between Houthi rebels and government forces.

“The two sides have also agreed to allow the entry of 12 aid ships into the strategic port,” Assem said.

The Houthi negotiator said the agreements were the result of talks with UN monitors led by retired Dutch general Patrick Cammaert.

Home to several strategic seaports, Al-Hudaydah constitutes a lifeline for Yemen's beleaguered civilian population, with significant amounts of humanitarian aid regularly flowing through the port city.

Yemen's warring parties agreed earlier this month to withdraw their forces from the Red Sea port city and institute a ceasefire during UN-sponsored talks in Sweden.

And last week, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a British-sponsored resolution approving the deployment of a UN team to monitor Al-Hudaydah ceasefire.

Yemen plunged into civil war in 2014 when Shia Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital, Sana’a, forcing the government to flee to Saudi Arabia.

A year later, Saudi Arabia and several Arab allies launched a massive air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi military gains.

The Saudi-led campaign in Yemen has devastated the country's infrastructure, including its health and sanitation systems, prompting the UN to describe it as one of the worst humanitarian disasters of modern times.

UN monitors visit Yemen’s Hudaydah port

By Mohamed al-Samei

SANAA (AA) – A UN mission tasked with monitoring a ceasefire in Yemen’s eastern city of Al-Hudaydah visited the strategic port on Monday, according to a local Yemeni official.

“The UN team visited Al-Hudayday port,” the official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to media.

He said UN monitors also visited the eastern part of the port city close to recent spots of clashes between government forces and rebels.

Led by retired Dutch general Patrick Cammaert, the UN mission arrived in Yemen on Saturday to monitor a ceasefire deal reached between the internationally recognized Yemeni government and the Shia Houthi group during UN-brokered peace talks in Sweden.

On Friday, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a British-sponsored resolution approving the deployment of a UN team to monitor Al-Hudaydah ceasefire.

Al-Hudaydah is a major lifeline for Yemen's beleaguered civilian population with significant amounts of humanitarian aid flowing through the port city.

Saudi Arabia has been leading a coalition of countries against the Houthis since 2015 when Riyadh and its Sunni-Arab allies launched a massive air campaign in Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi gains that began a year earlier.

The Saudi-led campaign in Yemen has devastated the country's infrastructure, including its health and sanitation systems, prompting the UN to describe it as one of the worst humanitarian disasters of modern times.

Truce in Yemen’s key port city takes effect

            By Zeynep Tufekci and Hamdi Yildiz </p>  <p>HUDAYDAH/MARIB, Yemen (AA) - A UN-sponsored ceasefire went into effect midnight Tuesday in Yemen’s key Red Sea port city of Hudaydah and its surroundings. </p>  <p>The truce between pro-government forces and Houthi rebels comes after a deal was clinched last week in Stockholm, Sweden during UN-sponsored peace talks between Yemen’s warring parties. </p>  <p>Yemeni Foreign Minister Khalid al-Yamani confirmed the government’s intention to abide by the ceasefire in Hudaydah, Salif and Ras Issa in a statement on Twitter. </p>  <p>Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdul-Salam also underscored the rebels’ commitment to the deal. </p>  <p>He said this would entail an end to military operations in Hudaydah as well as the cessation of fighting in Taiz in the country’s southwest. </p>  <p>Fighting between the two sides had flared up the previous day in Hudaydah, a key entry point for humanitarian aid. </p>  <p>The UN is expected to lead relief efforts through the port to reach the war-torn population throughout the country and improve their living conditions. </p>  <p>Yemen plunged into civil war in 2014 when Shia Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital, Sana’a, forcing the government to flee to Saudi Arabia. </p>  <p>A year later, Saudi Arabia and several Arab allies launched a massive air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi military gains.