Al Hodeidah battles have it hindered Griffith's efforts to continue consultations?

Al Hodeidah battles have it hindered Griffith's efforts to continue consultations?

The road to peace in Yemen seems to be far from the steps of the Yemeni factions, after the attempt by United Nations special envoy Martin Griffiths to bring the parties to the conflict to the table in Swiss Geneva in early September, and the escalation of fighting in southern Hodeidah.

Although the latest round of consultations in Geneva began to be doomed to failure, observers say, with the Houthis refusing to come to the negotiating table, Griffiths said he would carry the results of his consultations with the government delegation and convey them to the Houthi leaders in Muscat and Sanaa.

The al-Houthi delegation refrained from attending the consultations, citing the fact that the United Nations did not provide them with adequate guarantees for their return to Sana'a, was unable to obtain a license for the aircraft carrying them to Geneva and did not allow the wounded to be transported from Sana'a to Muscat or Geneva.

But what Griffith will hold for the Houthis will be far from reality in the ground, and the flames of battle, the city of Hodeidah, which is inhabited by nearly 600,000 people according to the United Nations estimates to the moment-hinder the efforts of the UN official.

After seven months of intensive meetings with the parties and his rounds between Amman, Riyadh, Aden, Muscat and Sana'a, in order to reach a political settlement, Griffiths said in his recent briefing to the Security Council that he had been able to relaunch the political process.

"I never expected the task to be easy, as the two sides have not met for more than two years and the war is escalating on almost all fronts, confidence is at its lowest level, the human cost and humanity are constantly rising and the parties have stuck in a spiral of violence," he said.

"Everyone made efforts, all of us in Geneva, in Amman, in the coalition and certainly in the Government of Yemen to try to overcome the issues that confronted us, but the efforts did not work, it did not work," he said.

Griffiths promised the Security Council that "this will not happen again", referring to his commitment to his tasks in reaching a political solution.

According to a senior UN source in the office of the UN special envoy, Griffiths seems determined this time to achieve results after his visit to Sanaa and his meeting with the leader of al-Houthi group Abdulmalik al-Houthi, before which he met with the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs in Muscat, Yusuf Bin Alawi.

The source told the Al Masdar online, preferring not to be identified because he is not authorized to talk to the media, that Griffiths «This time discusses two proposals and will focus on their achievement, the first relates to the reopening of Sana'a airport and the formation of a committee of the two parties for the release of prisoners, detainees and forcibly concealed, which is the case The main one that was supposed to be discussed in Geneva. "

"The other proposal is to restore the bridges of confidence and not to slip back into large-scale military confrontations, so as to invite the parties again to hold consultations in Geneva, mid-October," he said.

He noted that Griffiths was confident in his ability this time to achieve results, following the support of the Security Council, and that the parties had reacted positively to a political solution and to spare civilians from the consequences of the conflict.

The Security Council reiterated its support for the continued efforts of the UN envoy to build confidence, noting that the Yemeni parties should engage in any future consultations in good faith and seize the opportunity to reduce tension.

He reiterated that only a political solution could end the conflict and alleviate human suffering.

Following the failure of consultations to achieve any progress, the head of the government delegation, Yemeni Foreign Minister Khalid al-Yamani, objected to the position of the UN envoy, and said it justifies the two people to thwart the consultations, especially after his recent statements that the Houthis were eager to attend the consultations but the circumstances prevented it.

A government source for al-Masdar online, preferring not to be named for the sensitivity of his post, said the Government regretted Griffith's position and had to speak openly about who was trying to derail Yemen's political process.

According to the government source, the government will reserve Griffith's endeavors and this will be a stumbling block to its new efforts, but it will be much less than the collision of those efforts with the escalation of the armed conflict in Hodeidah (western part of the country).

On Monday, there were renewed fighting between government forces backed by the Arab coalition and the Houthis south of Hodeidah, days after coalition taking control of the eastern entrance of the city, following fierce battles in which scores of dead and wounded Houthi were killed, according to the source online correspondent.

The fighting fever was felt by Griffiths in his latest briefing from Geneva to the Security Council, and he said, "I hope that we will not get what we fear, from the sliding of the conflict in Hodeidah City and its strategic port."

Rather than the efforts of the UN envoy to impose itself on the conflict situation in Yemen, it appears to be different this time, as the battles control the nature of the consultations.

The Yemeni government seems to have ignored Griffith's new role, and despite his stay in Riyadh a week ago, he did not hold an orphan meeting with Vice President Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, without elaborating on any details.

The government news agency Saba quoted a new interview on the meeting, noting that the meeting did not produce any results.

But journalist Mohamed Said al-Shara’abi, who sees the opposite, says that the renewed fighting of Hodeidah was the result of the failure of the UN envoy to Yemen to hold the Geneva consultations, and the blame for its failure is the Houthi group and not renewed fighting.

"Current battles may provide justifications for procrastination and the al-Houthi group is evading to go to a new round of consultations, but if the sharia forces enter the city of Hodeidah, they will refuse to engage with the UN envoy, and here perhaps the path of consultations will be far away," he added.

He argues that the governments from the beginning show their keenness to make the UN envoy's mission success for their delegation to Geneva or give Griffiths a chance to get the Houthi delegation to the consultation table after the first attempt failed.

The Geneva consultations were the first consultations between the Yemeni government and the Houthis since the British diplomat Griffiths took office in Yemen as UN peace envoy in mid-March, succeeding his Mauritanian predecessor Ismail Ould Cheikh.


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