Yemen president vows to 'liberate' Hodeida port

Yemen president vows to 'liberate' Hodeida port
Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi made the remarks despite also pledging to back a UN proposal to end fighting in Yemen and the lifeline port city.
2 min read
15 November, 2018
Yemen's president Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi delivers a speech in Istanbul [Getty]
Yemen's Saudi-backed exiled president vowed to "liberate" the battleground port city of Hodeida despite pledging support for a UN proposal to end fighting in his country. 

Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi "has issued directives to back all efforts that guarantee the interests of Yemen in reaching sustainable peace" based on UN resolutions, a spokesman for the president said via the official Saba news agency.

"The battle of the Yemeni people to liberate Hodeida is inevitable, whether through peace or war," the statement said.

Hadi's comments came hours after the UAE, a key ally of the Yemeni government, said it supported UN plans to hold peace talks in Sweden by the end of the year.

After nearly four years of conflict between Yemen's Iran-backed Houthis and a pro-government military alliance led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the fight this month reached rebel-held Hodeida, home to Yemen's lifeline port.

The offensive sparked an international outcry over the fate of civilians trapped in the densely populated city as well as the port, which Yemenis across the impoverished country rely on for what little imports and aid reach the country.

Up to 80 percent of Yemen's food comes through Hodeida, and humanitarian groups have repeatedly warned that the Saudi- and UAE-led offensive could spark an even worse humanitarian crisis.

Half of Yemen's 28 million people are already at risk of famine, with three-quarters in need of humanitarian aid in the Arab world's poorest country. 

On Wednesday, pro-government fighters said they had halted a 12-day offensive on the Houthis, who have been in control of the port city since 2014.

Hodeida was calm on Thursday, for a third consecutive day.

Analysts however say a coalition attack on the docks remains a possibility.

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