Talks fo­cus on con­trol of Hodeida port

Khaleej Times - - FRONT PAGE -

rimbo (swe­den) — Ye­men’s for­eign min­is­ter said on Satur­day the rebel-held port of Hodeida must be handed over to the gov­ern­ment, amid UN-bro­kered talks on the con­flict be­tween the gov­ern­ment and Houthi in­sur­gents.

“We ac­cept that the port works un­der the ad­min­is­tra­tion that ran the port in 2014,” Khaled Al Ya­mani

said. The rebels seized Hodeida in a takeover of ter­ri­tory in 2014.

How­ever, Houthi ne­go­tia­tor Mo­hammed Ab­dusalam said Hodeida port should be de­clared a “neu­tral zone” and the UN could play a role in Sanaa air­port.

Al Ya­mani said the gov­ern­ment­con­trolled city of Aden could be home to the coun­try’s main air­port.

“We are ready to re­open Sanaa in­ter­na­tional air­port to­day... but we have a vi­sion that Aden will be the sov­er­eign air­port of Ye­men,” Al Ya­mani said. “If the other side ac­cepts... flights could land in Aden and leave to Sanaa, Hodeida, other airports.” —

hodeida — Houthi mili­tias con­tinue to cause da­m­age to the in­fra­struc­ture and ser­vices in Ye­men by set­ting-up booby traps in schools and plant­ing im­pro­vised ex­plo­sive de­vices and mines in food cans and bags, as part of their de­struc­tive strate­gies to cause max­i­mum loss of life.

In this re­gard, the Al Sharaf School in Hodeida has been trans­formed into a mil­i­tary bar­rack fol­low­ing its de­struc­tion.

The Houthis also planted mines and ex­plo­sive de­vices in sugar and rice bags, as well as fire ex­tin­guish­ers to reach the homes of Ye­meni citizens, pub­lic roads and gov­ern­ment build­ings in Hodeida. The at­tacks are in re­tal­i­a­tion against lo­cals who re­jected their ter­ror­ist prac­tices.

The Ye­meni re­sis­tance forces were able to dis­man­tle a net­work of mines and ex­plo­sive de­vices in

class­rooms in­side a school which were planted by the mili­tia as part of their agenda to deprive stu­dents of ed­u­ca­tion and join the mili­tias as child sol­diers in­stead. Engi­neer­ing teams from the coali­tion are work­ing to clear mines and other ex­plo­sive de­vices planted along pub­lic roads and in civil­ian ar­eas.

The re­sis­tance forces also cleared ar­eas in­side a Red Sea mill from mines and IEDs planted to de­stroy the com­pany’s flour and grain production.

More than 4.5 mil­lion chil­dren have been de­prived of ed­u­ca­tion af­ter Houthi mili­tias de­stroyed 2,372 schools. —

AFP

Rana Ghanem, mem­ber of a Ye­men gov­ern­ment’s del­e­ga­tion, speaks to jour­nal­ists dur­ing the on­go­ing Ye­men peace talks at Jo­han­nes­berg Cas­tle in Rimbo, 50km north of Stockholm, Swe­den, on Satur­day. A Ye­meni gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial said that Houthi rebels were ‘not se­ri­ous’ in find­ing a com­mon ground to end the dev­as­tat­ing war. —

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