Yemen's warring sides meet over flashpoint port city

17 Juillet, 2019, 04:18 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Yemen's warring sides meet over flashpoint port city

Yemen's authorities welcomed the delegations from the United Nations, the Yemen government and Houthis.

Led by Danish General Michael Lollesgaard, the committee established under the Sweden agreement includes representatives from the United Nations, the Yemen government and Huthi rebels.

The pullback was supposed to have taken place two weeks after the ceasefire went into force on 18 December, but that deadline was missed.

The redeployment from Hodeida is a critical part of a ceasefire deal reached in December in Sweden that calls on the government and the Huthis to move forces away from ports and parts of city. Yet, the parties failed to observe it.

The government accuses the Houthis of sidestepping the truce deal by handing their positions over to allied fighters.

The Hodeidah ceasefire was reached by Yemen's Houthis and the Saudi-led invasion force, and was meant to get combatants out of Hodeidah, Yemen's largest, most important aid port.

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Police trooper stands guard on a street in the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, Yemen February 13, 2019.

The western province of Hodeida is of strategic importance because of its main port, which is the entry point for some 80 per cent of Yemen's imports and aid.

UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths arrived in Yemeni capital Sanaa on Tuesday to hold talks with the Houthi leadership to bolster a cease-fire deal.

Earlier, the participants did agree on some technical aspects of the first phase of the redeployment plan but during the meeting, "the Houthis completely opposed the return of security forces and employees based on the 2014 payroll system, before the militia coup in Hodeidah", the Yemeni official noted. Hadi is now reportedly residing in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Yemen has been embroiled in a devastating conflict for more than four years.

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