UN monitoring mission urges civilian safety in Yemen's Hodeidah
UN monitoring mission urges civilian safety in Yemen's Hodeidah

Sanaa: A United Nations monitoring mission has urged Yemen's warring factions to safeguard civilians as violence in the country's Red Sea port city of Hodeidah has intensified.

"The withdrawal of the Joint Forces from Hodeidah city, al-Durayhimi, Bayt al-Faqih, and parts of At-Tuhayta districts, and subsequent takeover by Ansar Allah (Houthis) forces, represents a major shift in the frontlines in Hodeidah province," the UN Mission to Support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA) said in a statement.

"These events demand dialogue between the parties to the Hodeidah Agreement," the UN delegation said. "The UNMHA stands ready to support those discussions within the scope of the accord," the statement stated, "and emphasises that lasting peace can only be realised by joint efforts."

The pro-government combined troops retreated from their positions on the fringes of Hodeidah in recent days, allowing the Houthi rebels to assume control of those areas. The Houthis sought to advance and conquer fresh territory, but clashes with united pro-government forces occurred, resulting in explosions in the area.

Since they negotiated a UN-sponsored truce in Stockholm in December 2018, the government and the Houthi group have had a tenuous cease-fire in Hodeidah, a lifeline for millions facing hunger. The Houthis have taken control of Hodeidah, while government forces have made gains in the southern and eastern areas.

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