Griffiths In Sanaa to Tackle Security, Revenues' Issues in Hodeidah

Wednesday, 17 July, 2019 - 06:30
Aden, Jeddah - Ali Rabih, Asma al-Ghaberi

UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths arrived in Sanaa on Tuesday as part of his efforts to revive the peace process and build trust between the government and Houthi militias based on the implementation of the Stockholm deal, mainly the redeployment in Hodeidah and its ports.

Yemeni political sources told Asharq Al-Awsat on Tuesday that Griffiths is expected to meet Houthi leaderships before presenting his report on the latest developments in Yemen to the Security Council Wednesday.

The envoy’s visit came a day after representatives from Yemen's Saudi-backed government and Houthi rebels met for two days on a UN ship off the Yemeni coast, during which "they agreed on a "mechanism and new measures to reinforce the ceasefire and de-escalation.”

However, according to a UN statement, the meeting failed to solve disputes between political leaders on "local security forces, local authority and revenues." 

Griffiths’ visit to Sanaa on Tuesday also came after a UN mandate that supports a peace deal on a troop withdrawal from Yemen’s key port city of Hodeidah was extended by six months on Monday.

The Yemeni sources said Griffiths’ visit to Sanaa should mainly focus this time on Hodeidah’s security, local authorities and revenues.

“The envoy will try to convince Houthis on a consensus formula concerning those issues in a way not contradicting with the three references and the core content of the Sweden Agreement,” the sources said.

In May, the UN announced that the Houthis had withdrawn from Hodeidah’s three ports, the first practical step since the December 2018 ceasefire deal.

But the government accused the militias of faking the pullout, saying they had merely handed control to their allies.

On Monday, the envoy had met with Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi in Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh.

Following the meeting, the Yemeni president said it must be clearly agreed that the Stockholm Agreement of December 2018 between the government and Houthis is key to the next de-escalation arrangements.

Hadi said he had ordered the government's representatives in the Joint Redeployment Committee to resume working with the head of the UN mission to Hodeidah Lt. Gen. Michael Lollesgaard on correcting the course of the Hodeidah deal.

"Their meeting started on Sunday, but we learnt that Houthis are maximalist and stubborn again,” the President said.

Saba news agency quoted Griffiths as affirming he is going to work to implement the tracks of peace as per the three terms of reference with the first focus to be on Hodeidah. He also condemned the Houthi sentencing of 30 peaceful oppositionists to executions in the capital Sanaa a few days ago.

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