January 12-18: UN Official Fired upon in Hudaydah, Conflict Parties meet in Jordan

Saturday, January 12

According to government sources, 37 civilians were killed and 312 injured by Houthi violations of the Hudaydah ceasefire agreement since it was put in place on December 18. The government is calling on Martin Griffiths to pressure the Houthis into complying with the ceasefire.

Reporter Baseem al-Jenani, meanwhile, tweeted that medical sources say 27 civilians were killed or injured in the city of Hudaydah by Houthi vehicles.

Sunday, January 13

The Guardian reports that the Houthis have threatened to continue drone strikes after the attack on a military base in Lahij province last week.

Monday, January 14

Al-Masdar Online discusses the issue of secret prisons in southern Yemen run by the UAE, saying that new information has surfaced on cemeteries which have been used to dispose of prisoners’ bodies.

Tuesday, January 15

Five people were wounded in a Houthi attack on a camp for internally displaced persons in al-Khokha, southern Hudaydah governorate, according to Hadhramawt Net. Southern news source Aden al-Ghad notes that the Houthis also attacked the same camp in October of last year.

Southern news outlet Aden al-Ghad reports on the issue of trash dumping in the Skaykh  Othman district of Aden. A former children’s park in a residential area there is being used as a dump site despite protests by residents concerned over the health impact of the site’s proximity to their homes.  

The Guardian discusses a bipartisan measure which calls for an end to US military involvement in the conflict in Yemen. The measure, expected to be put forward in the coming weeks by the House of Representatives, was passed by the Senate in December. It would permanently end US military support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, unless overridden by a presidential veto.

Al Jazeera notes that the warring factions in Yemen refused to meet directly in Hudaydah this week, forcing UN representatives to act as go-betweens.

The United Nations News Service reports that humanitarian aid from the World Food Programme was able to be delivered to areas south of Hudaydah for the first time in six months due to the recent ceasefire agreement.

Wednesday, January 16

Reuters reports that in the city of Ta'iz, teachers’ salaries have begun to be paid again after a long period in which public sector wages went unpaid by Yemen’s central bank.

Also from Reuters, delegates of the Houthis and Hadi government met in Amman, Jordan today to discuss the prisoner exchange outlined in the recently signed Stockholm Agreements. Meanwhile, the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously to approve the deployment of 75 additional monitors of the ceasefire agreement in the city of Hudaydah. The Guardian characterizes this decision as an attempt to prevent the ceasefire from collapsing as both sides accuse the other of violating the agreement.

Government military sources report that Houthi agents responsible for the drone attack on al-Anad military base last week have been captured. The article also claims that the captured individuals are responsible for “assassinations and bombings” in the city of Aden, although what incidents this refers to is unclear.

Aden al-Ghad reports protests by the families of detainees in Aden, calling for the release of those held without charges. Meanwhile, the human rights organization Rights Radar calls urgently for the UN to act to save the lives of detainees held by UAE forces in Aden, and particularly those held in Bir Ahmed prison, reports al-Masdar Online.

Al-Masdar Online also reports on a social media protest which calls for the Yemeni government to return to the country and govern from within, rather than living abroad at a distance from the realities of the conflict.

Thursday, January 17

Unknown gunmen fired on the vehicle of the head of the United Nations monitoring mission in al-Hudaydah  shortly after he left a meeting with government representatives, reports the Associated Press. While both sides of the conflict have blamed the other for the shooting, it remains unclear who was responsible for the attack.

An article from the Associated Press discusses Houthi abuses against women in San’a. The article reports that Houthi militias have been detaining women in San’a without charges, accusing them of prostitution or collaboration with the Saudi-led coalition, torturing them and blackmailing their families. This activity reportedly began with the appointment of Sultan Zabin to head of the San’a criminal investigation division a year ago.

The Famine Early Warning System Network released a report today on Yemen’s food security outlook. The report expresses concern over the situation in the city of Hudaydah, and estimates that large areas of the country will remain in crisis through early 2019; without continued food assistance approximately 17 million people would be left in urgent need.

Denmark has suspended arms sales to the UAE over the Emirates’ role in the conflict in Yemen, reports Middle East Eye.

Friday, January 18

This video from the BBC discusses the human impact of Yemen’s civil war on citizens and villagers, and the struggles that they face to attain basic resources.

Al-Masdar Online reports that the new governor of Shabwah province, Mohammad Saleh bin ‘Adayu, has expressed his intention to fight financial and administrative corruption in the province.  

Dr. Elisabeth Kendall, an expert on jihadi organizations in Yemen, tweeted about recent clashes between al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Islamic State in Yemen (ISY).

Al-Masdar Online discusses the disappearance of activist Zakariya Ahmed Qasim, who was arrested and reportedly held in a UAE-run prison in Aden. Protests are being held in the city calling for Qasim’s release. A source who was held in a neighboring cell reports that he believes Qasim died due to torture, but was told by prison authorities that the activist was moved to another UAE prison in Eritrea. The report notes that Qasim was taken prisoner during a wave of arrests and assassinations after the appointment of police director Shalal ‘Ali Sh’aya.

The Office of the Special Envoy to Yemen announced a “positive, constructive” discussion resulting from a prisoner exchange meeting between delegates from each side of the Yemeni conflict in Amman, Jordan.