Yemen: Saudi Arabia seeks to enforce Houthi adherence to Hodeidah ceasefire

Saudi Arabia expressed determination to use all options available to press pro-Iranian movement of Houthi militias to uphold their commitments in Yemen’s ceasefire. The Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash underscored on Wednesday that the Saudi-coalition has hit more than ten Houthi military encampments in the periphery of the Hodeidah province yesterday. The Saudi Minister argued in favour of the selective use of force as a strategic option to bring the Houthi counterpart back in the negotiating table. According to the December 2018 Hodeidah ceasefire, both contenders, the Iranian supported Houthi rebels and the Saudi-led government forces, pledged to withdraw their troops from the port-city and adjacent territories of Hodeidah, Yemen’s most important commercial hub.

The U.N. deal was nonetheless severely undermined in recent weeks given that both parties missed the pre-set deadline to withdraw their troops. Still, Riyadh reiterated that its intervention in Yemen’s political landscape will facilitate attainment of three objectives. The Saudi Minister reassured media representatives that the government forces of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi will uphold their ceasefire commitments in the forthcoming weeks. He also stressed that Saudi officials will exert all types of diplomatic pressures to Houthi counterparts to do their part in the agreement, and concluded with a welcoming note over the future deployment of U.N. peacekeepers in Hodeidah. It is expected that the U.N. intervention will immediately alleviate the disintegrating living conditions in the city which nears the brink of famine.

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