Houthis negotiate with UN’s Griffiths in Sanaa, while attacking Hodeidah

Martin Griffiths descends from his plane upon his arrival at Sanaa international airport on January 5, 2019.

:: As Houthi militiamen on Saturday launched an attack on the UN’s World Food Program warehouses in Yemen’s port city of Hodeidah, the militia’s leadership was negotiating with UN envoy Martin Griffiths.

Griffiths, who brokered the breakthrough last month in Sweden, returned to Yemen Saturday with a plan to expedite measures agreed between the government and the Iran-backed Houthi militia.

Key among them is the redeployment of rival forces from Hodeida, the Red Sea port city crucial for aid and food imports.

Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, head of the rebel Higher Revolutionary Committee, told Agence France-Presse that talks on Yemen’s war-torn country’s economy “could take place in Amman… which I discussed with the UN envoy.”


Griffiths also held talks Sunday with Houthi chief Abdelmalik al-Huthi, spokesman Mohammed Abdelsalam said in a statement carried by the militia’s media platforms. He said that the two addressed “preparations for the upcoming round of talks.”

However, during these talks between the UN envoy and militia leaders, residents in eastern Hodeidah confirmed that a huge fire broke out in the food aid warehouses as a result of Houthi artillery shelling.

Meanwhile, five civilians, including two children, were injured and three houses were destroyed on Saturday following a Houthi artillery bombardment on a village in the district of Hays in Hodeidah.

The militia forced dozens of families to flee from the village towards the center of Hays.

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