Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

UN Team Faces Houthi Obstacles in Hodeidah

UN Team Faces Houthi Obstacles in Hodeidah

Saturday, 16 November, 2019 - 07:15
Workers prepare to unload a fuel shipment from an oil tanker at the port of Hodeidah, Yemen October 17, 2019. (Reuters)

A UN source complained on Friday that the Iran-backed Houthi militias of hindering the efforts of the United Nations Mission to Support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA) to implement the deal.

“There has been a significant drop in violence on the ground since the establishment of five observation posts along the Hodeidah city frontline. However, there is a remarkable increase of reports showing the presence of violent activities during the past week,” an informed source at the Mission told Asharq Al-Awsat.

“The situation is still volatile, despite the clear decline of reported accidents since the five posts were set up,” it added.

He cited logistic difficulties hindering the mission of the delegation and preventing the UN from offering humanitarian aid to the five posts.

“UNMHA is relying on the two parties to resolve all outstanding logistic issues,” the source continued.

The source’s statements confirm reports published by Asharq Al-Awsat on Thursday saying that the activity of the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC) and head of UNMHA, Abhijit Guha and his team were being obstructed by the Houthis.

“They are unable to move freely and to observe what is happening in the city,” sources told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Next month marks a year since the signing of the Hodeidah deal, with not much being achieved on the ground.

The agreement stipulates that Western powers provide technology to monitor the redeployments, with an agreement that policing in Hodeidah becomes the responsibility of “local security forces in accordance with Yemini law.”

Under the UN plan, Houthis should make an “initial unilateral redeployment” in the city and be replaced by coast guards. However, the government accuses the militias of not withdrawing from the city. It said Houthis have only exchanged their military uniforms by that of the coast guards to remain in the port city.

Editor Picks