UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — The joint committee charged with implementing the Swedish agreement on the Yemeni province of Hodeidah held a meeting on board a ship at sea on Sunday, in the presence of representatives of the United Nations and the parties to the Yemeni conflict.
“The members of the RCC will hold the fifth joint meeting of the Coordinating Committee for Redeployment on July 14-15, on board a UN ship on the high seas,” the statement said.
The statement said the head of the Coordination Committee for Redeployment, Lieutenant General Michael Lawlessard, will “facilitate the discussion of the steps to implement the Hodeidah agreement reached by the parties in Stockholm on 13 December 2018.”
Meanwhile, AFP quoted a UN official as saying that the committee’s meeting began this afternoon with representatives from both the Yemeni government and Ansar Allah (the Houthis).
The committee, established under an agreement reached in Sweden last December, includes representatives from the United Nations, the Houthis and government forces. Its work is to monitor the implementation of the Swedish agreement, which provides for a withdrawal from the three ports of the province of Hodeidah (Hodeidah, Salif and Ras Issa), along with the town of Hodeidah itself and a cease-fire.
Last May, the United Nations mission in Hodeidah declared that the Huthis had handed over the ports of the province to the Coast Guard in a unilateral operation. But the government refused to acknowledge the departure of the Huthis of the ports, accusing them of handing over to their elements dressed in civilian clothes.
Since 2014, the war in Yemen has been between Ansar Allah (which controls the capital Sana’a and several parts of the country) and forces loyal to the internationally recognized government of President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi. The civil war witnessed a dramatic escalation with the intervention of a Saudi-led military alliance in March 2015 in support of the government.
The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people, including a large number of civilians, according to various humanitarian organizations. The conflict left 3.3 million displaced, while 24.1 million people – more than two thirds of the population – needed assistance, according to the United Nations, which describes the humanitarian crisis in Yemen as the worst in the world today.
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