UN Tries to Save Ceasefire in Yemen’s Hodeidah as Fighting Rages

Fighting erupts near airport and food mills

Heavy fighting has broken out around the Yemeni aid port of Hodeidah, the source for some 70% of all food consumed in the war-torn nation, as Saudi-backed forces attacked the Houthi Shi’ites in neighborhoods near the Hodeidah airport, and the Red Sea food mills.

The food mills are particularly important, with an estimated 51,000 tonnes of wheat therein. The UN is trying to get the ceasefire back in place, and in particular warned attacking forces against targeting the food aid, cautioning it could expose millions to starvation.

Saving the wheat doesn’t just mean not physically attacking it. The UN World Food Programme says they need access to fumigate the aid to prevent rotting. The Houthis say they can’t provide them safe access right now, with fighting too close by.

The UN brokered a deal that was intended to get both sides’ fighters out of Hodeidah, but has repeatedly stalled over issues, with both sides worried they’ll draw down more and the other side will take advantage.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.