UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — The first phase of the withdrawal of warring parties from the Yemeni city of Hodeidah “may begin today or tomorrow,” UN envoy Martin Griffith told the UN Security Council on Tuesday.
The Yemeni-backed Yemeni Houthi group and the Saudi-backed government agreed during talks in December to withdraw troops from Hodeidah by January 7 under a truce aimed at preventing a full-scale attack on the port and paving the way for negotiations to end the war. Four years. But the deal has stalled over a dispute over control of the Red Sea city, which is the lifeline of millions of people facing hunger. After weeks of diplomatic efforts, the United Nations said on Sunday the two sides had reached agreement on the first phase of the withdrawal.
“The parties have agreed to withdraw from the Salif and Ras Issa ports, followed by the withdrawal from Hodeidah Port and the vital areas of Hodeidah, in conjunction with humanitarian facilities in the second phase,” Griffith told the 15-member Security Council on Tuesday.
“This will facilitate the arrival of humanitarian supplies to the mills located on the Red Sea,” he said.
The grain stored by WFP in the Red Sea silos only feeds 3.7 million people for a month and has not been there for more than five months. The United Nations warns of possible food corruption.
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