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  • A shipment of grain is unloaded at the Red Sea port of Hodeidah, Yemen August 5, 2018.

    A shipment of grain is unloaded at the Red Sea port of Hodeidah, Yemen August 5, 2018. | Photo: Reuters file

Published 11 May 2019

Additionally, the agreement dictates that pro-government forces leave positions around the periphery of Hodeidah during the redeployment.

The Yemen-based Houthi group has agreed to remove forces from three of the country’s key ports over a four-day period, starting Saturday, a senior United Nations (U.N.) official confirmed Friday.

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Yemen: Houthi Forces Agree to Withdraw From 2 Ports

The Houthis will start leaving the ports of Hodeidah, Salif and Ras-Issa, according to Reuters, citing chair of the U.N’.s Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC), who was charged to oversee the process, Lt. Gen. Michael Lollesgaard.

The United Nations “welcomes the offer and intention of the Ansar Allah to undertake an initial unilateral redeployment from the ports of Al-Hudaydah, Salif and Ras-Issa,” Lollesgaard said.

According to the U.N., control of all three ports will be relinquished to the Yemen Red Sea Ports Corporation, a governmental body.

The redeployment process must be followed by "the committed, transparent and sustained actions of the parties to fully deliver on their obligations," an official statement from the U.N. declared.

Additionally, the agreement dictates that pro-government forces leave positions around the periphery of Hodeidah during the redeployment.

Yemeni information minister, Moammar al-Eryani, has since countered that the offer of redeployment was "inaccurate and misleading."

Al-Eryani rejected the move, in a social media post, saying that any withdrawal that did not allow for joint monitoring and verification was unacceptable.

The Houthis and the government of Yemen first agreed - during U.N.-brokered peace talks in Sweden, in Dec. - to withdraw troops by Jan. 7 from Hodeidah under a truce aimed at ending the four-year war.

The Saudi-United Arab Emirates-led Yemeni coalition has accused the Houthis of using Hodeidah to smuggle weapons, a charge the Houthis have repeatedly denied.

The war has claimed tens of thousands of lives and caused an economic collapse in Yemen that subsequently became the world's most urgent humanitarian crisis after the fighting cut off much of the aid entering the ports.

Currently, some 22 million people in Yemen are in need of humanitarian assistance or protection, according to the U.N.

Last year, a U.N. human rights report said Saudi-led coalition airstrikes on targets such as hospitals, schools and open-air markets were responsible for most of the 16,000 civilian deaths. 


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