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UN Security Council to meet today on Yemen truce deal

By AFP - Jan 08,2019 - Last updated at Jan 08,2019

Martin Griffiths (centre), the UN special envoy for Yemen, descends from his plane upon his arrival at Sanaa International Airport on Saturday (AFP photo)

UNITED NATIONS, United States —The UN Security Council will meet on Wednesday to hear the UN envoy for Yemen report on a ceasefire deal and his latest efforts to end the nearly four-year war, diplomats said.

UN envoy Martin Griffiths was in Saudi Arabia on Monday for talks with Yemen's leaders aimed at shoring up the truce in the lifeline port of Hodeida that was agreed during talks in Sweden last month.

Those talks followed meetings in the rebel-held capital of Sanaa over the weekend to discuss the next steps for a redeployment of Houthi rebel fighters and coalition-backed forces from Hodeida.

Rebel-held Hodeida was for months the main front line in the Yemen war after government forces supported by Saudi Arabia and its allies launched an offensive to capture it in June.

The Red Sea port is the key point of entry for humanitarian aid and supplies to Yemen, where millions are on the brink of famine as the war has grinded on.

The United Nations has said that the truce has largely held in the city since the agreement came into force on December 18.

Last month, the Security Council adopted a resolution backing the deal agreed in Sweden that provides for the deployment of observers to oversee the truce.

Griffiths is hoping to bring the sides together again for a new round of peace talks, possibly in Kuwait, later this month.

The war between the Huthis and troops loyal to the government escalated in March 2015, when President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi fled to Saudi Arabia and the Riyadh-led coalition intervened.

The conflict has unleashed the world's worst humanitarian crisis, according to the UN, which says 14 million Yemenis are on the brink of famine.

UN aid chief Mark Lowcock will also brief the council on Wednesday on the humanitarian situation.

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