Fierce fighting in Yemen forces thousands from their homes

Shiite Huthi rebels during a gathering to mobilize more fighters to the battlefront to fight pro-government forces, in the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah on June 18, 2018
AFP

United Nations (United States) (AFP) – Fierce fighting in Yemen’s port city of Hodeida has displaced 5,200 families, the UN spokesman said Monday, adding that the number of those fleeing the violence is expected to rise.

The Saudi-led coalition has launched an offensive to drive out Yemen’s Huthi rebels from the Red Sea port city of 600,000. 

“Fierce fighting has continued in Hodeida today,” said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric. “About 5,200 families have fled the fighting to seek safety within their own districts or in other districts in Hodeida.”

“The number is expected to increase as hostilities continue.”

UN envoy Martin Griffiths was in Sanaa to try to persuade the Huthis to withdraw from the city and place the port, which is a key entry point for commercial goods and aid, under UN supervision.

The United Nations has warned that an attack on Hodeida port could cripple deliveries of commercial goods and humanitarian aid to millions of people in Yemen who are on the brink of famine.

The Security Council is due to meet behind closed doors later Monday to hear a report from Griffiths on his efforts.

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