Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement has welcomed the UN special envoy’s call on warring sides to put an end to fighting in the strategic western port city of Hudaydah and respect a ceasefire agreement despite frequent violation of the agreement by the Saudi side.
“We welcome the statement of UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths concerning commitment to the Stockholm agreement, besides any positive and effective approach to the implementation mechanism of UN Mission to Support the Hudaydah Agreement (UNMHA),” Ansarullah spokesman Mohamed Abdel-Salam wrote in a post published on his official Twitter page on Thursday.
Earlier in the day, Griffiths said there was deep concern over fighting in Hudaydah and reports of casualties among the civilian population, including women and children.
“This military escalation not only constitutes a violation of the Hudaydah ceasefire agreement, but it also runs against the spirit of the ongoing UN-facilitated negotiations that aim to achieve a nationwide ceasefire, humanitarian and economic measures and the resumption of the political process,” he said in a statement.
Griffiths called on all sides to lay down their weapons, and respect their commitments under the Stockholm agreement.
Delegates from Ansarullah movement and representatives loyal to former Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi held a round of peace negotiations in Rimbo, north of the Swedish capital city of Stockholm, in December 2018.
The talks resulted in the announcement of an agreement, which included a ceasefire along the Hudaydah front and the redeployment of armed forces out of the city and its port. The deal also mandated the UN to oversee the truce.
Saudis violate Hudaydah truce 245 times over past 24 hours: Report
The Yemeni Arabic-language al-Masirah television network, citing an unnamed source in the Liaison Officers’ Room, which monitors violations of the Stockholm Agreement and the Hudaydah ceasefire, said on Wednesday that Saudi Arabia and its allies had once again breached the Hudaydah ceasefire agreement and violated the accord for 245 times over the past 24 hours.
The development came a day after Yemen’s official news agency SABA reported that the coalition had violated the ceasefire agreement in Hudaydah province for 281 times during the last 24 hours.
Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched the campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing Hadi’s government back to power.
The US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, estimates that the war has claimed more than 100,000 lives for over the past five years.
The Houthi movement, backed by the armed forces, has been defending Yemen against the Saudi-led alliance, preventing the aggressors from fulfilling the objectives of their deadly campaign.