Violation of ceasefire agreement as conflict near Hodeidah port surges

UN personnel and vehicles in Yemeni port city of Hodeidah UN personnel and vehicles in Yemeni port city of Hodeidah United Nations

08 October 2020

A surge in violence near Yemen’s main port of Hodeidah kills civilians and threatens to impede humanitarian aid shipments

On 8 October, the United Nations (UN) called for an immediate ceasefire after a surge in conflict near Yemen’s main port of Hodeidah, killing “dozens of people” including civilians over the past week.

Currently, there is a UN- sponsored ceasefire in place in the area. Martin Griffiths, UN Special Envoy for Yemen, has warned that the conflict not only constitutes a violation of the ceasefire, but that “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.”

The majority of the Yemeni population relies heavily on the food imports and humanitarian aid shipments that are received at the port of Hodeidah. The recent conflict is said to worsen the current long-running food scarcity in the region, which has devastated the nation’s economy. Already, on 14 October, it has been reported that a UN team will have to wait several weeks to access a leaking tanker 60km north of the port of Hodeidah due to hindered access complicated by the conflict and the “Houthis’ intransigent stance.” Yemen’s Houthi movement controls the area where the tanker is located. The UN has stressed that a major rupture could severely harm Red Sea ecosystems and shut the port of Hodeidah, further blocking imports and aid for the population.


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Author: Catherine Gregoire

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