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Agreement on Hodeidah Redeployment, Humanitarian Relief Corridors

Agreement on Hodeidah Redeployment, Humanitarian Relief Corridors

Monday, 18 February, 2019 - 10:45
Meetings for Yemen’s redeployment coordination committee in Hodeidah headed by General Michael Lollesgaard. Reuters
Jeddah - Aden - Asma Al-Ghabiri and Ali Rabih
Meetings for Yemen’s redeployment coordination committee in Hodeidah agreed on opening a corridor to reach UN food depots preserved at Red Sea silos.

The agreement came after the committee talks led by General Michael Lollesgaard, chair of RCC that includes the internationally-recognized government and Houthi militias.

The Yemeni government and Houthis have agreed on the first phase of a pullback of forces from the key city of Hodeidah. The redeployment from Hodeidah was a key provision of a ceasefire deal reached in December in Sweden, but deadlines to move forces away from the ports and parts of the city have been missed.

Following two days of talks in Hodeidah, the government and Houthis finalized a deal on the first phase of the pullback and also agreed in principle on the second phase, a UN statement said.

This partial breakthrough coincided with a surprise visit by UN envoy Martin Griffiths to Houthi-run Sanaa in an attempt to extract a final approval from leaders of the group for the partial redeployment.

The government team was the key driver behind the success of the agreement because of the flexibility it has shown, Brigadier Sadeq Dweid, a government representative in the RCC, told Asharq Al-Awsat.

He pointed out that the UN-brokered deal signed in Sweden last December is clear in its stipulations, yet Houthis have employed evasiveness and political intransigence with the aim of undermining the so-called Stockholm Agreement.

Dweid said that the agreement on the first phase of the pullback will be accompanied by demining and international monitoring.

Houthis had repeatedly rejected the UN plan proposed by Lollesgaard and sought to block a final agreement on the details of the second phase for redeployment.

In an effort to secure Houthi cooperation, Griffiths made a recent surprise visit to Sanaa. Official sources, speaking under the conditions of anonymity, said Houthi leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi had met Griffiths and “discussed with him the track of implementation of the Swedish agreement.”

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