Yemen Govt: Cede Hodeidah or We’ll Attack

Peace talks start with an immediate ultimatum

The Yemen peace talks being held in Sweden are finally under way, but look like they’re going to be immediately derailed by an ultimatum from the Saudi-backed Hadi government.

They are demanding that the Shi’ite Houthi movement unconditionally cede the port city of Hodeidah to their control immediately, and are threatening to end the talks and resume the military offensive if they don’t get their way.

Hodeidah is the main aid port into Yemen, and the only aid port under Houthi control. This means, effectively, that the port is the only source for food for the entire Houthi-controll half of Yemen, covering millions of people.

Naturally, the Houthis rejected the demand, and are continuing to push their own priorities at the peace talks, which mostly center on ending the war and getting the Sanaa International Airport reopened. What were expected to be a week of talks, however, could quickly break down with the Hadi faction looking to resume the war quickly.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.