UN envoy condemns recent clashes in Yemen’s Hodeida, calls for ceasefire

Martin Griffiths, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen

A top UN official Thursday condemned recent clashes in Yemen’s strategic port city of Hodeida, which have left dozens killed and wounded, urging the country’s warring parties to immediately stop the fighting.

Since Saturday, clashes have flared up between Yemen’s Houthi militia and government forces south of the port in Hodeida, which handles about 70 percent of Yemen’s commercial and humanitarian imports.

Yemeni officials said Wednesday the death toll had reached 52 and that around 70 people were wounded, including two dozen civilians.

“This military escalation not only constitutes a violation of the Hodeida ceasefire agreement but it runs against the spirit of the ongoing UN-facilitated negotiations that aim to achieve a nationwide ceasefire, humanitarian and economic measures and the resumption of the political process,” said UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths in a statement.

Griffiths said he is following with “deep concern” reports of civilian casualties, including women and children.

“I have been engaging with all sides. I call on them to immediately stop the fighting, respect the commitments they made under the Stockholm agreement,” he said.

On Monday, the UN mission to Yemen called for an immediate halt of violence in order “not to put the population at further risk and jeopardize the delivery of humanitarian assistance.”

The war in Yemen has spawned the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, leaving millions suffering from food and medical shortages. It has killed over 112,000 people, including fighters and civilians, according to a database project that tracks violence.