September 15-21: Griffiths meets Houthis in San’a, humanitarian outlook worsens


The World Food Program reported that their Red Sea Mill Silos, which “mill a quarter of the WFP’s monthly wheat requirements,” came under attack. Additionally, a mortar shell was launched by an unidentified armed group at another WFP warehouse location. This warehouse was reported to be holding enough food for 19,200 people. Since these incidents, the WFP has been unable to deliver aid to civilians.  

The Thawra Hospital in Ta’iz Governorate reported “more than 850 confirmed cases” of dengue fever, with a “total number of 6 deaths” since September 13th. Aden 24 interviewed a doctor at the hospital who claims that there is not an effective plan of action for the epidemic that extends past spraying for mosquitos. There are also significant obstacles to effectively combating the disease, as the presence of Houthi militias has “caused the collapse of health and living services in the city.”


The General Council of the Sons of Mahrah Province staged protests against “the excesses of Saudi Arabia and the UAE forces” and their detrimental impact on Yemeni sovereignty. The protesters were concerned about the Saudi pipeline proposal, which would establish an oil port in the province of Mahra, and President Hadi’s acceptance of said proposal. They also were protesting the Saudi Arabian presence in the form of 16 military checkpoints throughout three districts of Mahrah.

Martin Griffiths, UN Special Envoy to Yemen, arrived in San’a after the failed consultations in Geneva last week.  


The Saudi led coalition bombed a civilian home in the Marran district of Sa’dah Governorate, killing at least two children. This attack took place as the UN special envoy arrived in San’a for negotiations with the Houthi leadership.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs released an update on the state of the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. They remarked that some “two million children remain out of school” and roughly “67% of public school teachers have not been paid for nearly two years.” The report also documents accessibility issues facing active humanitarian partners on the ground.


A frigate opened fire on a fishing boat near the Yemeni port of al-Khoukha, killing 18 fishermen. The coalition denied having attacked the boat, and claims that an unknown vessel must have attacked the fishermen. Currently, the port is controlled by the UAE military. Coalition ships and aircraft have fired on fishing boats many times in the recent past.

UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths reported constructive meetings in San’a with the Ansar Allah leadership and representatives of the San’a faction of the General People’s Congress. The talks centered on “confidence building measures,” such as the release of prisoners, the current economic situation, and the possible reopening of San’a Airport.


Save the Children reported that further collapse of the Yemeni economy and renewed fighting in Hudaydah could lead to an extreme disruption of resource distribution to some of the most vulnerable populations in Yemen. Save the Children warned that the closure or disruption of the port “risks killing an entire generation.”


In an interview with PBS NewsHour, research director at the Center for Naval Analyses Larry Lewis claimed that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s certification to Congress--which stated  that the coalition states are doing everything in their power to reduce civilian casualties--“doesn’t fit the facts.” He argued that the actions described in the accompanying memo are not only out of date, but are also not directly related to the goal of reducing civilian casualties. In a previous position, Lewis was responsible for the implementation of some of the programs in question.


Human Rights Watch released a report which demanded an international commitment to holding warring parties in Yemen accountable for violence against civilians and possible war crimes. They noted that in the past, the coalition has attempted to stifle findings from the Human Rights Council, and that yielding to this pressure is wholly unacceptable.  

Oxfam released a report which documents the humanitarian crisis taking place in Hudaydah. The report explained that as a result of renewed conflict, “hundreds of thousands of people could be trapped” in the city, “without access to adequate food, water, and medical care.”