UNITED NATIONS, Mar 20 (APP):The United Nations will present a new plan for the withdrawal of forces from Yemen’s key port city of Hodeida to the government and Huthi insurgents, a UN envoy has said.
The redeployment of forces was agreed in December under a ceasefire agreement reached in Sweden that offered the best hope in years of moving toward an end to the war that has pushed the Arab country to the brink of famine.
“Following constructive discussions with both parties, there is significant progress towards an agreement to implement phase one of the redeployments of the Hodeida agreement,” a statement from Martin Griffiths, the UN envoy for Yemen, said Tuesday.
“Operational details will be presented to the parties in the Redeployment Coordination Committee [RCC] for endorsement shortly,” he added.
The RCC, chaired by Danish General Michael Lollesgaard, was established under the Stockholm agreement to bring the government and the Huthis to the table to work out the details of the ceasefire agreement.
The UN envoy’s statement did not give a date for the beginning of the withdrawal, which would mark the first concrete step towards de-escalation in Hodeida.
The Red Sea port of Hodeida is the entry point for the bulk of imported goods and relief aid to Yemen.
Griffiths said he “looks forward to the swift endorsement of the plan” and expressed hope that an agreement would pave the way to a broader political settlement to end the war.
The United Nations announced a deal on the two-stage pullback from Hodeida city and its ports on February 17, but the redeployment failed to materialize on the ground and the peace effort appeared to run out of steam.