Sanaa, Nov 16 A UN monitoring mission has called on Yemen’s warring factions to protect civilians as the fighting between the two sides has escalated in the country’s Red Sea port city of Hodeidah.
“The withdrawal of the Joint Forces from Hodeidah city, al-Durayhimi, Bayt al-Faqih and parts of At-Tuhayta districts and the subsequent takeover by Ansar Allah (Houthis) forces represents a major shift of the frontlines in Hodeidah province,” the UN Mission to Support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA) said in a statement.
The UN mission considered that “these events warrant discussions between the parties of the Hodeidah Agreement”.
“The UNMHA stands ready to facilitate those discussions within the framework of the agreement and emphasizes that sustainable peace can only be achieved by collective efforts,” the statement stressed.
During the past days, the pro-government joint forces withdrew from their sites located in Hodeidah’s outskirts, allowing the Houthi rebels to take control of those areas.
The Houthis attempted to advance and capture new areas, but intense confrontations erupted with the joint pro-government forces, causing explosions in the area.
Hodeidah, a lifeline for millions facing starvation, has seen a shaky cease-fire between the government and the Houthi group since they reached an UN-sponsored truce in Stockholm in December 2018.
The truce was seen as the first phase toward a nationwide ceasefire to end Yemen’s years-long military conflict, but the fighting continued across the impoverished Arab country.
Hodeidah is under the control of the Houthis, while the government forces have advanced to the southern and eastern districts.