U.N. will try to convince Houthi to relinquish Hodeidah port

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By Middle East Affairs

After top Houthi chief killed on Monday, U.N. Yemen mediator trying to convince Houthi militia to relinquish control of Hodeidah port in hopes of stopping a Saudi funded attack.

On Saturday, the Mediator Martin Griffiths arrived in Houthi controlled Sanaa as Saudi led troops were attempting an attack within 10 km of the Red Sea port, the attack has since been on pause.

A senior Yemeni politician said He (Griffiths) comes with a proposal for the Houthis to place Hodeidah port under UN supervision.”

Two sources close to the Houthi militia and President Hadi’ government have confirmed reports of the U.N proposal to let U.N forces take control of the Hodeidah port.

U.N. emergency relief coordinator, Mark Lowcock announced on Monday, that the United Nations had been in contact with several member states to discuss details regarding Hodeidah port.

Griffiths will be speaking to the Security Council on June 18th and will report back after his visit to Yemen and the developments regarding the port.

Mahdi Al-Mashat, the assumed president for the Houthi controlled north of Yemen has not yet met with Griffiths, who has met several other notable top ranking Houthi members including their foreign minister.

A coalition led by the Gulf States with the West’s support intervened in 2015 to aid President Hadi to reclaim his position and last year announced their plans to take control of Hodeidah port which was later thwarted after international pressures to avoid further conflict in the war-torn country.

Coalition member U.A.E led its troops to the southwestern coast of Yemen with the military strategy of boxing in the Houthi around Sanaa has been at least partially successful.

Insiders who claim to know how UAE and Saudi military strategy is formulated say that taking the coast would constrict Houthi’s supply chain and force them to negotiate.

Saudi’s government has reported that Houthi use the Hodeidah port to smuggle Iranian-made arms into Yemen, claims that Iran has denied.

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