United Nations seeks urgent ceasefire to stop UAE assault on Yemeni port

Houthi militants ride on the back of a patrol truck

Civilians Killed in Houthi Shelling of Saudi Arabia’s Jazan – Reports AFP 2018 Khaled Abdullah

The port handles most of the country's commercial imports and aid supplies to provide a lifeline for millions of Yemenis.

Clashes between the military and Houthi rebel forces intensified last week, as troops led by the UAE advanced to 10 km (6 miles) from the city, Reuters reported.

Previous U.N. efforts have failed to end the country's conflict, which has triggered the world's most urgent humanitarian crisis in the impoverished Arab state, the United Nations has said.

The United Arab Emirates has given the UN less than 48 hours to try to negotiate a Houthi ceasefire at the strategic Red Sea port of Hodeidah before it mounts an attack on the port through which the bulk of food, medicine and gas to the rest of Yemen is distributed. "Cutting off imports through Hodeidah for any length of time will put Yemen's population at extreme, unjustifiable risk".

Save the Children said on Sunday that it continued to treat "tens of thousands of children in Hodeidah for acute malnutrition, and diseases like diphtheria and malaria".

Malki also denied that the coalition targeted any medical facility affiliated with Doctors Without Borders in Yemen on Monday.

MSF said it had completely frozen its operations in Abs in response to the attack.

Sanaa Yemen
Sputnik Faisal Al Shabibi Yemeni Houthi Rebels Shell Government Forces- Reports

More than 10,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in the war that also displaced over 3 million and pushed the impoverished country into the brink of starvation.

The Saudi-backed Yemeni forces continued to make ground advancement during the battles with Houthis on Yemen's west coast near the Hodeidah Airport.

The council met behind closed doors to hear United Nations envoy Martin Griffiths report on his diplomatic efforts to keep the rebel-held port of Hodeida open to shipments of aid and commercial goods.

A broader United Nations peace plan calls on the Houthis to give up their missiles in return for an end to a coalition bombing campaign and a transitional governance deal, according to a draft document and sources.

"We are, at the present moment, in intense consultation", the UN's secretary general, António Guterres, told reporters.

During his meeting with Yemen's new Foreign Minister Khaled Alyemany, Mr Guterres stressed that "everyone should redouble efforts to find a political solution and avoid a fierce, bloody battle for Al Hodeidah", UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

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