Yemen government reports al-Hodeidah Houthi 'attacks' to UN

Yemen's government and its two main allies have written to the UN Security Council accusing the Houthis (Ansarallah) of failing to comply with a hard-won ceasefire agreement in the vital port city of al-Hodeidah, an Arab diplomat said Wednesday (January 2nd).

UN representatives from Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the UAE wrote that the Houthis had launched attacks including sniper fire and medium-range ballistic missiles in al-Hodeidah even after agreeing to a truce, the diplomat told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The December 31st letter to outgoing UN Security Council head Kacou Houajda Leon Adom also said the Iran-backed Houthis had erected barricades and dug trenches in the flashpoint Red Sea city, according to the diplomat.

Both the Houthis and pro-government forces agreed in mid-December to a mutual withdrawal from the port, city and wider governorate of al-Hodeidah at UN-brokered negotiations in Sweden.

AFP footage from al-Hodeidah on Wednesday showed concrete barricades across the city, where some streets were lined with sandbags and piles of dirt apparently from freshly-dug trenches.

The Houthis accused the coalition on Wednesday of flying at low altitude over al-Hodeidah.

They have regularly accused Saudi Arabia and its allies of attacking areas across the governorate since December 18th.

Following the ceasefire deal, the UN Security Council unanimously approved a resolution authorising the deployment of observers to oversee the truce, and a monitoring team led by retired Dutch general Patrick Cammaert arrived to al-Hodeidah on December 23rd.

At its meeting on Wednesday, and for the second consecutive day, the team discussed a ceasefire monitoring mechanism, al-Arabiya reported.

A UN official said the Houthis had begun to withdraw from the port city last week, and there have been no official UN statements on the military status of al-Hodeidah since.

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