The Yemeni government reassured the newly-appointed UN monitor chief for the Hodeidah ceasefire, Danish General Michael Lollesgaard, that it is relentlessly working to open and secure humanitarian aid corridors in Hodeidah.
Insofar, government forces managed securing all passageways for aid delivery within areas of its control. Nevertheless, the part of the key Red Sea port city falling under Houthi control continues to block the passage of humanitarian assistance.
The Houthi obstruction of the transport of badly-needed relief comes despite their signing last December of a UN-brokered ceasefire deal that includes the withdrawal of their forces from the port city.
This comes at a time the Iran-backed Houthi militias have also rejected a relief plan put forth by Lollesgaard which requires them to clear the way for convoys to pass to Red Sea wheat silos, and continued to stage violations against the Hodeidah truce.
In writing, Major General Saqir bin Aziz relayed to Lollesgaard the government forces’ preparedness to facilitate access to humanitarian relief stored away in Red Sea silos and have them transported through the coastline under Yemeni army control.
Houthis have refused to open roads and chose to block humanitarian corridors leading to UN wheat depots in government-controlled areas for over five months, threatening to damage a stock said to be enough to feed 3.7 million people for a month by the international body.
In his letter to Lollesgaard, Aziz also suggested securing other routes for the transfer of UN humanitarian assistance from government control areas.
Addressing Houthis’ intransigence on granting access to UN humanitarian relief supplies in areas of their control, Yemeni Information Minister Muammar al-Iryani said it hints underlying intentions to thwart December's Stockholm Agreement.
“This rejection by the Houthi group reveals its intentions to overthrow the Swedish agreement, increase the suffering of citizens, and use the humanitarian tragedy that Yemen is experiencing as a bargaining chip,” Iryani said in a tweet.
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