Rebels withdraw from Yemen ports

Michael Lollesgaard Lieutenant General Michael Lollesgaard visited the ports of Hudaydah, Salif and Ras Issa to verify the redeployment of Houthi forces. Credit: UN
Industry Database

Houthi rebels have pulled out of the ports of Hodeidah, Salif and Ras Issa as part of a deal struck between Houthi leaders and the Yemeni Government to enable humanitarian aid into Yemen.

Chairman of both the UN support mission (UNMHA) and Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC) Lieutenant General Michael Lollesgaard said withdrawal of Ansar Allah (Houthi) forces went ahead as agreed, with security of the ports handed over to the Yemen Coast Guard, but, he said, “a lot of work needs to be done” to remove military hardware.

The Lt. Gen. reiterated that the actions of the Houthis forces are the first moves in the broader redeployments in Hudaydah, part of the UN-backed agreement that both parties signed up to in December last year.

UN management support

The next steps in the UN’s implementation of the Hudaydah Agreement are expected to include a strengthened UN presence to support the management of Hudaydah, Salif and Ras Issa, and to strengthen UNVIM, the UN body responsible for monitoring ships attempting to dock in the ports.

Full implementation of the agreement is critical for returning peace and stability to Yemen, said Lt. Gen. Lollesgaard, and “ensuring effective humanitarian access into the country where millions continue to be in need of life-saving assistance.”

Martin Griffiths, the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, met the warring parties in Amman, Jordan, on 14 May, to begin discussing the implementation of the economic provisions of the Hudaydah Agreement.

Issues to be discussed included the management of revenues from the ports of Hudaydah, Ras Issa and Salif, and their use for the payment of public sector salaries throughout the country.

By Rebecca Jeffrey

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