UN monitoring team in Yemen verifies pullout of armed forces from crucial port zones
14 May 2019 - The UN team set up to monitor the ceasefire agreement between warring parties in Yemen has formally verified the pullout of armed Ansar Allah, or Houthi forces, from port zones in the country that are crucial to the flow of humanitarian aid, describing cooperation they have received so far as "very good."
The Chair of the UN support mission (UNMHA), Lieutenant General Michael Lollesgaard, released a statement on Tuesday, confirming that the redeployment of forces from Hudaydah, Salif and Ras Issa ports, part of the deal struck between Houthi leaders and the Yemeni Government, went ahead as agreed, albeit with some exceptions: security of the ports was handed over to the 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 2018.
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."
On Tuesday, Martin Griffiths, the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, met the warring parties in the Jordanian capital of Amman, 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.
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