The recent attempt of the Yemeni Government to re-capture Hodeida Governorate is considered to be a first step of achieving peace and stability in Yemen. No doubt that the Yemeni Government’s decision of liberating Hodeida comes within its sovereign jurisdiction to protect its people, to stop the smuggling of Iranian weapons and missiles to the Houthis through the port of Hodeida and to end the threat posed by the militia to international navigation in the Red Sea. The liberation of Hodeida Governorate is an essential part of the national war to end the coup and to restore the security and stability to all Yemeni Governorates.
Since the Military Coup against the Yemeni Government, the Houthis rebels have been using Yemeni ports in the Red Sea (Hodeida- Al Salif – Midi) to smuggle weapons from Iran in a clear violation to all Security Council resolutions concerning the Yemeni conflict, particularly in breach of paragraph 14 of resolution 2216 (2015) related to prohibiting of weapons, planting random internationally-prohibited mines near Bab Al Mandeb strait and targeting ships crossing the strait and looting humanitarian aids.
In the report of the Panel of Experts on Yemen to the Sanctions Committee, issued in 2017, It was stated that Iran was involved in smuggling weapons to the Houthis. In this connection, the Yemeni government confirms that the safety of shipping and freedom of navigation in the Red Sea and Bab Al Mandeb strait cannot be achieved without the full control of the western coast and all districts and ports along the Red Sea and restoring the authority of the State.
The recent developments in Hodeida come after the Yemeni government tried all peaceful and political means possible to remove the Houth militia from Hodeida port. The Yemeni government has called upon the international community to do its duties towards the humanitarian catastrophe that the Yemeni people, particularly people of Hodeida, are suffering due to practices of Huthis that transformed the port into a base to destabilize the national security and to threaten the neighbouring region and international navigation.
The Yemeni government and the coalition have assured that the military operation will not affect the civilians and their properties and to secure the delivery of the humanitarian aid through Al Hodeida port, that is to launch a wide humanitarian operation in Hodeida governorate during the military operations.
The Houthi militias have attempted to politicize the humanitarian issue in Yemen in general, and in Hodeida in particular, by increasing the suffering of people in the city through dividing the city into parts by digging trenches and putting barriers and cutting electricity and water supplies as a means to put a pressure on the international community to intervene and to stop the progress of government forces. As a result of cutting water and electricity supplies, an outbreak of cholera could be an issue again.
The Yemeni government supports Mr. Martin Griffith’s initiative regarding Hodeida, provided that there should be a unconditionally full withdrawal of the Houthis militia from the city, allowing for the forces of the Ministry of Interior (the Police) to safeguard the city and to ensure the continuity of the port works to receive the flows of the humanitarian aids and relief in order to be equally distributed to all parts of Yemen.
The Yemeni government confirms that dismissal of the Houthis Militia from the port of Hodeida will be a victory to the international law and the Humanitarian International Law in that there will be a protection for international navigation, clearing up the maritime mines that the militia have planted in in the international waters and ensuring the continuity of the humanitarian works in the port of Hodeida. The acceptance of the Houthis to withdraw from Hodeida will be an important step in building up the trust towards achieving sustainable peace based on the three referents, notably the resolution 2216 that calls upon the militia to withdraw and hand over weapons as a gateway to achieve a political compromise in Yemen, so that it ensures the Houthi coup is ended and authorities of legitimate government regained.