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UN Envoy, Chief Monitor Meet in Riyadh over Hodeida Ceasefire

UN Envoy, Chief Monitor Meet in Riyadh over Hodeida Ceasefire

Thursday, 24 January, 2019 - 08:00
UN envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, speaks to reporters upon his arrival at Sanaa airport in Sanaa, Yemen March 24, 2018. REUTERS
London- Asharq Al-Awsat
The United Nations Special Envoy to Yemen Martin and Dutch General Patrick Cammaert, heading the UN-designated monitor team for the Hodeida armistice, traveled to Riyadh in hopes of speeding up the phases for achieving the agreement on Hodeida, settled at the UN-sponsored Sweden's consultations last month.

Talks to be held between Griffiths, Cammaert and Saudi-based Yemeni government representatives will address the transfer of Hodeida negotiations outside Yemen, after threats being directed at engaged diplomats, UN sources with knowledge of the matter told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Cammaert, for instance, was targeted by a militia shooting earlier last week.

Griffiths, during the Riyadh meetings, will focus on the files of Hodeida, Taiz and the prisoners swap deal during his talks with Yemeni government officials.

The UN team was given an initial period of 30 days to monitor a ceasefire between government forces and Houthi rebels in Hodeida and surrounding areas, with any breaches to be reported by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to the Security Council.

On a similar note, Al-Arabiya channel reported on 741 Houthi violations of the UN-brokered Hodeidah truce.

Cammaert will step down at the end of his term in February, according to the agreement reached when he accepted the mission, Western sources told Asharq Al-Awsat. The confirmation comes as a clarification after conflicting reports rumored Cammaert’s early resignation.

On the other hand, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) confirmed sending 15 delegates to exchange prisoners in Yemen.

ICRC regional director for the Near East and Middle East Fabrizio Carboni reaffirmed the body’s cooperation with the Yemeni Red Crescent Society to provide medical assistance for the needs of prisoners, adding that the ICRC will provide two 200-passenger aircraft for the transfer of freed prisoners back and forth between Houthi-held Sanaa and government-held territory.

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