A Federal Foreign Office spokesperson issued the following statement today (13 June) on the military operation to recapture the port city of Hodeidah, currently being conducted by the Yemeni Government and supporting coalition forces:
We are very concerned about the current developments around Hodeidah. The military operation could have serious humanitarian consequences in a densely populated urban area. Hodeidah is Yemen’s most important conduit for imports and as such is vital for getting humanitarian supplies to people throughout the country.
We call on all parties to the conflict to guarantee the protection of the civilian population and, in the interest of the distressed populace in Yemen, urge all parties to comply in full with international humanitarian law and to respect humanitarian principles. The fighting south of Hodeidah in the past months has already further aggravated the existing humanitarian crisis and has displaced tens of thousands of people.
In addition, the current developments threaten to further complicate the ongoing mediation efforts of UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths. We call on all parties to the conflict to work constructively with the UN Special Envoy and the international humanitarian organisations in Yemen and to seize all opportunities to prevent the conflict from escalating further.
The efforts of the Special Envoy have our full support, since a lasting settlement of the conflict can only be achieved by political means.
Troops fighting for the Yemeni Government, aided by the pro Government coalition, have moved close to the Houthi-controlled port city of Hodeidah on the western coast of Yemen, and have announced that they have launched operations to take the city. The United Nations has warned of the drastic humanitarian consequences of an attack on the town or a siege of the port, through which over 70% of all humanitarian and commercial imports to the country arrive.
22 million people in Yemen – more than two thirds of the population – are dependent on humanitarian assistance.
The United Nations Special Envoy is working hard to bring about a political settlement. He hopes to present the United Nations Security Council with a framework agreement by the end of the month, which would form the basis for the assumption of peace talks.