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Houthi rebels claim to begin withdrawal from key Yemen ports

Houthi rebels claim to begin withdrawal from key Yemen ports”

The Saudi-backed government also sought United Nations assurances that there would be more UN-run searches of cargo.

As a crucial gateway for desperately needed aid to enter, the full implementation of the Hudaydah Agreement remains instrumental to ensuring effective humanitarian access into Yemen where millions remain dependent on life-saving assistance.

In an attempt to prevent the humanitarian situation from further deterioration and to avert a full-scale assault by the Saudi-led coalition on the ports, Houthis signed a UN-brokered agreement with the ex-government in Sweden last December.

The Saudi-led coalition, which has been bombing the country since 2015, claims that blocking the ports would curb alleged arms-smuggling from Iran to the Houthis, but both Tehran and the rebels deny the claims.

"Furthermore", the Lt. Gen. continued, "this unilateral redeployment should allow for establishing a UN leading role in supporting the Red Sea Ports Corporation in managing the ports", as well as for enhancing the UN Verification and Inspection Mechanism (UNVIM), in accordance with the Agreement.

The implementation of the deal took months because of mutual distrust. Some analysts say the parties still might not be fully committed to implementing it.

Hisham Al-Omeisy, another expert, shared a photo of coastguards shaking hands with Houthi fighters and said "Houthis dressed in uniforms passed as coastguards".

"The Sana'a government's measure for saving the Stockholm deal signifies the Yemeni National Salvation Government's determination and commitment to dialogue and honoring its commitments on the one hand, and reveals the Saudi coalition's obstructionism and lack of commitment to the deal on the other hand", Mousavi added.

"The Yemeni parties must continue to urgently work towards this goal, and all commitments made in Stockholm in December 2018", he said, adding that the United Nations "will continue to support the parties' in this regard so that they deliver on their obligations towards the Yemeni people and return peace and stability to their land".

It came after Houthi rebels toppled President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, capitalising on the unrest among frustrated Yemenis after the government decision to cut fuel subsidies.

Overall, the Houthis have fired 226 rockets towards Saudi Arabia, he said.

Saudi-led bombing, often indiscriminate, has killed thousands of Yemeni civilians.

Yemen's Houthi Ansarullah movement and the Saudi-backed former government commenced fresh talks in Jordan, two days after Houthi forces unilaterally began withdrawing from three key ports in the western province of Hudaydah in line with a UN-brokered agreement the warring sides reached past year.

Saudi Arabia said armed drones struck two oil pumping stations on Tuesday, after Houthi-run Masirah TV earlier said the group had launched drone attacks on Saudi installations in response to what it called Saudi aggression and a blockade on Yemen.



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