UN Envoy Says New Obstacles Delay Houthi Withdrawal From Yemen’s Hodeidah

UN held talks with Houthis but failed to get them to agree to continue pullout

Negotiations held in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa between UN and Houthi officials were “not productive,” and the second phase of the withdrawal of all combatants from Hodeidah looks to be indefinitely stalled, with the Houthis refusing to leave.

The Houthis had previously and willingly left some smaller ports in Hodeidah Province, handing the facilities to the UN. The next step was to leave the main aid port, however, and the Houthis are conditioning that on them being allowed to maintain some management positions within the seaport.

Negotiations were intended to get the Houthis out of Hodeidah Province, but also the invading Saudi-led forces as well. This was intended to open up aid routes from Hodeidah, as well as prevent Saudi forces from destroying or shutting down the port, through which 70% of aid flows.

While Saudi-backed officials are using this to launch a new round of condemnations of the Houthis, it’s not clear what the point of this delay is, apart from continuing to drag on the dispute over the future of the port, or try to get a few more concessions at the last second.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.