23 February 2019
The Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, stressed the importance for the parties in Yemen to immediately start implementing phase one of the redeployments in Hudayda. In an interview with Al-Arabiya’s Diplomatic Avenue, he mentioned that “the two parties sat down for two days with general Michael Lollesgaard and they agreed on these redeployments. We are still looking for that process to start. I have every confidence that this will start very soon.”
Griffiths stressed the importance of granting humanitarian access to the Red Sea Mills, which currently stores up to 51,000 metric tons of wheat, sufficient to feed 3.7 million Yemenis for a whole month.
The Special Envoy emphasized his confidence that the two parties demonstrate the political will necessary to turn agreements into facts on the ground, highlighting that there are signs of civilian life returning to Hudayda, in comparison to the situation before reaching the ceasefire.
On the Prisoner Exchange Agreement, Griffiths explained that there is a proposal being discussed with the parties to release a first batch of prisoners very soon, stressing that the commitment of the parties, as well as the Office of the Special Envoy and ICRC is to work on the release of all prisoners and detainees, based on the principle of “all for all”.
Griffiths mentioned that he is working towards reconvening the next round of consultations in the near future. “After we see that tangible progress on Hudayda, which shows that promises made at consultations lead to action…then I think we should not hesitate to go swiftly to the next round of consultations, and it should happen as soon as is practical at that point.”
Click here to watch the interview