UN confirms rebel deliveries of Hodeidah ports to “Coast Guard”

Yemen
File AFP

UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — The United Nations mission in Hodeidah, west of Yemen, on Tuesday confirmed that the Yemeni rebels handed over the ports of the province to the “Coast Guard,” but considered at the same time that there is “a lot of work” to remove all military manifestations from the three ports.

In a statement at a press conference in Hodeidah, the committee said that its chairman, Michael Lawlessard, “welcomes the handing over of port security to the Coast Guard and efforts to remove all military aspects of the installations.”

“There is still a lot of work to be done to remove these aspects, but cooperation has been and is still very good.”

On Saturday, the rebels announced the start of the “unilateral withdrawal”, saying it was the result of the refusal of pro-government forces to implement an agreement reached in Sweden in December.

The Swedish agreements provided for a cease-fire in the province of Hodeidah, the withdrawal of all fighters from the port of Hodeidah and the other two ports in the north of the province, and the withdrawal of the Houthis and government forces from the entire city of Hodeidah, the center of the province of the same name.

But the internationally-recognized government of Yemen accused the Houthi rebels on Saturday night of continuing “manipulation” and spoke of a “repeat play” of handing over the ports, pointing out that the rebels handed over security to their elements dressed in civilian clothes.

The United Nations mission, however, said that the United Nations teams were “monitoring the redeployment, which was carried out, in part as agreed by the Yemeni parties within the concept of The first stage”.

“These are important first steps as part of the broader redeployment operations in Hodeidah, which both Yemeni parties have expressed their continued commitment to,” she said.

He urged the parties to “finalize the pending negotiations to allow for the full implementation of the first and second phases of the Hodeidah agreement.”

– Re-peace –

The war in Yemen has been waged between rebels accused of receiving support from Iran and pro-government forces since 2014 and escalated with the intervention of a Saudi-led military alliance in March in support abia and the United Arab Emirates, which supports government forces, has not commented on the Houthi declaration of withdrawal from the ports.

The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people, including a large number of civilians, according to various humanitarian organizations.

There are still 3.3 million displaced people, while 24.1 million people, more than two thirds of the population, need assistance, according to the United Nations, which describes the humanitarian crisis in Yemen as the worst in the world today.

Sweden’s agreements have restored hopes of near-peace in the poorest countries of the Arabian Peninsula, but the slow implementation of the agreements and accusations of a breach of the cease-fire in Hodeidah suggest that the solution is still far away.

The UN mission said that “effective implementation” of the agreements “requires strengthening the presence of the United Nations in ports to support its management by the Red Sea Ports Company, and requires enhanced monitoring of the United Nations verification and inspection mechanism in accordance with the Hodeidah Convention.”

“The full implementation of this agreement is essential to restore peace and stability to Yemen and to ensure that humanitarian assistance is effectively delivered to the country where millions are still in need of this life-saving assistance.”

The UN Security Council is due to hold a meeting on Hodeidah on Wednesday.

The Yemeni developments coincide with the Houthi rebels targeting two pumping stations for a major pipeline in Saudi Arabia by unmanned aircraft on Tuesday, which stopped the pumping of oil in it.

The two stations are located in the provinces of Dawadmi and Afif in Riyadh, 220 km (380 miles) and 380 kilometers west of the Saudi capital. The attack took place between 6:30 and 06:30 local time, the official SPA news agency reported.

“The targeting of vital Saudi facilities came in response to the continuing aggression in committing genocide and imposing a siege on an entire people,” rebel spokesman Mohamed Abdel Salam wrote on Twitter.

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