Yemen rebels announce temporary Red Sea ceasefire

06 August, 2018, 11:19 | Author: Donnie King
  • Air strikes on hospital and market in Yemen's Hodeidah kill dozens

The strikes, which fell close to the city's main public hospital, al-Thawra, hit the strategic city's fishing port and fish market.

The last attempt at peace talks for Yemen broke down in 2016.

Griffiths has been leading efforts to prevent a full-scale coalition assault on the strategic port city of Hodeidah on the Red Sea, which is responsible for more than 70 percent of imports to Yemen and is a vital lifeline for a country already teetering on the brink of starvation.

Reports said the drone has bombed the airport, but did not reveal any further details on damage to the airport or any possible casualties.

However, on 26 March 2015, a coalition of countries led by Saudi Arabia intervened militarily at the request of President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi to secure the return of the Government to Sana'a, which had been seized by Houthi militias and allied units of the armed forces.

The Saudi-led coalition denied responsibility for the attack, saying it did not carry out any operations in the area that day.

Rebel-run Al Masirah TV reported that airstrikes left 52 people dead and more than 100 wounded.

About 70 percent of Yemen's food imports flow through Hodeidah port; about 8.4 million Yemenis are said by aid workers to be on the verge of starvation.

The Center also called for "full compliance with the provisions of worldwide humanitarian law", saying Houthis were in violation of this following the attack which killed dozens of civilians.

Earlier, Lise Grande, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, condemned the hospital attack as "shocking". "Nothing can justify this loss of life", she added.

However, Saudi Arabia claimed that Houthi fighters had attacked two oil tankers in the Red Sea, and thus it had chose to halt oil shipments via Bab el-Mandeb until the waterway was safe. In Hodeidah, one of the Yemeni army's largest offensives against the Houthi rebels is underway.

The UN special envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, had urged the council to do more to "keep the Red Sea out of the conflict" as he unveiled plans to begin a first round of peace negotiations in Geneva on September 6.

He called for "an immediate ceasefire" and urged Yemen's warring parties to join United Nations peace efforts.

On Friday, the UN's World Health Organisation said Yemen may be on the brink of a new cholera epidemic, with greater chance of a high death rate due to widespread malnutrition.

Yemen's internationally recognised government is ready to attend UN-brokered talks next month in Geneva but is "not optimistic", a government official said on Friday.


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