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Yemen president accuses UN envoy of siding with rebels

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Yemeni President Abed-Rabbo Mansour Hadi. AFP/Natalia Kolesnikova<br />

The Yemeni president has accused UN envoy Martin Griffiths of siding with the country’s Huthi rebels in a letter addressed to the UN chief.

Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi said he was giving Griffiths “a final chance” to implement hard-won truce deals reached in Sweden last year.

In the letter, a copy of which was obtained by AFP Friday, he accused Griffiths of “providing the Huthi militia with guarantees to stay in Hodeida and its ports under the umbrella of the UN”.

“I can no longer accept these offences by your special envoy which threaten chances to find a (lasting) solution,” he wrote, addressing UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

The rebels’ pullback from the Red Sea ports of Hodeida, Saleef and Ras Issa marked the first concrete step to implement the Sweden agreement, which was hailed as a breakthrough in efforts to end the war.

The Huthis handed over control of the ports to a “coast guard”, according to the UN, but some government officials said these forces were in fact rebel fighters in different uniforms.

Hodeida is the main entry point for the bulk of Yemen’s imports and humanitarian aid, providing a lifeline to millions of people.

The government forces — backed by a Saudi-led military coalition — and the Iran-aligned Huthi rebels have been locked in a war that has pushed the country to the brink of famine.

The four-year conflict has triggered what the UN describes as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with over 24 million, more than two-thirds of the population in need of aid.

Tens of thousands of people, mostly civilians, have been killed.


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