UN envoy reported ‘optimistic’ on Yemen cease-fire

February 1, 2019

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.N. envoy Martin Griffiths “is optimistic” that a cease-fire in Yemen’s key port of Hodeida is holding despite some violations and that Yemen’s government and Houthi Shiite rebels are committed to redeploying their forces from the area, Kuwait’s U.N. ambassador said Thursday.

Mansour Al-Otaibi said Griffiths told the Security Council in a closed-door video briefing that there will be a U.N.-facilitated meeting of government and Houthi representatives in the next few days on a vessel in Hodeida to discuss details on how to implement the redeployment of forces.

He said the council is united in wanting to see the Dec. 13 agreement reached in Stockholm fully implemented.

Griffiths just concluded a series of meetings with government leaders in Saudi Arabia and Houthi leaders in Yemen’s capital Sanaa.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Thursday that Griffiths “remains encouraged by the political commitment of the parties to the Stockholm agreement.”

But he said “Griffiths expressed concern about recent hostilities in Yemen and called on all parties to exercise utmost restraint and de-escalate tensions, in Hodeida and in other parts of Yemen.”

The council meeting followed Dujarric’s announcement that Dutch Maj. Gen. Patrick Cammaert, who has been heading the U.N. operation monitoring the cease-fire in Hodeida, is being replaced by Danish Lt. Gen. Michael Lollesgaard.