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Yemen militants begin withdrawal from Hodeida port

Yemen militants begin withdrawal from Hodeida port

After the truce came into force on December 18, Yemeni rebels have started to withdraw from Hodeida port, Al Jazeera reported. Thanks to the United Nations-sponsored peace agreement, the last weekend of the year symbolized the start of a new life for millions of Yemenis. 

The recent Sweden peace talks led by the UN’s third Yemen envoy Martin Griffiths marked the most significant breakthrough in five years of talks between the Yemeni government and Houthi rebels. The militants begin to redeploy inside the port city of Hodeida as part of their obligations under the UN peace deal.

According to the UN’s officials, the rebels have agreed with the Saudi-backed government to implement a ceasefire in Hodeida city and withdraw their respective forces. On Saturday, the Houthi-run news agency has confirmed that the first phase of redeployment from the Hodeida port started. However, it is still unclear if the government forces, which control some southern parts of the city, had started to redeploy.

In a rare move, Houtis are leaving Hodeida port

Retired Dutch general Patrick Cammaert, the head of a UN advance team charged with monitoring the ceasefire, arrived in Hodeida earlier this week. The local governor, Mohammed AyashQaheem, has confirmed that Houthi rebels had withdrawn from the port as specified in the UN peace agreement. According to their obligations, the militants are handing control to local units of Yemeni coast guards who were in charge of protecting ports before the civil war between the Houthi rebels and President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi’s supporters in 2015.

UN peace deal contains the article about the international monitoring on the process. the UN experts are to be deployed in Hodeida and a Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC) will oversee the implementation. The RCC has already started its meetings this week.