The Yemeni government and the Houthi rebels recently reached a truce in the context of the UN-sponsored peace talks. The accord is effective on Tuesday.
On Sunday, the Houthi rebels announced they would begin to implement the new truce agreement regarding the port city of Hodeidah, Yemen.
The truce was reached in the framework of the United Nations-sponsored peace talks held in Sweden.
It has been hailed as a breakthrough by all sides. “...a positive step towards achieving the aspirations of the Yemeni people,” according to Mehdi Mushat, a leader of the rebel group.
The agreement reached between the Yemeni government and the Houthi rebels provides for the withdrawal of the warring parties from the port city by Tuesday.
“What you have achieved so far is an important step for the people of Yemen and I thank you,” the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, said.
As per the truce’s terms, international monitors are to be deployed to the area.
In the framework of the truce, a prisoner swap involving approximately 15,000 detainees is projected to take place and a mutual agreement has been made to allow for the delivery of aid to the city of Taiz where both parties are struggling for control.
There were reports of clashes in Hodeidah’s eastern and southern neighborhoods, Friday. Yet, for the truce to be effective, the warring parties must withdraw and implement a ceasefire by the stipulated date.
Residents living in Hodeidah reported hearing shell and gunfire in the eastern district, according to a Houthi-run TV station. If the alleged skirmishes continue to take place as the warring parties prepare to enter a truce then the agreement can become compromised.
Both sides will meet again in January to continue talks on what may become a “comprehensive” peace settlement, according to AFP.
The conflict in Yemen started in 2015. Since then, the country has spiraled into one of the most catastrophic humanitarian disasters of the XXI century. More than 24 million people, representing three-quarters of the population, are in need of assistance and protection, and, 20 million people lack access to food, according to the United Nations.