Middle EastWar

Yemen ceasefire monitors to deploy in Hodeidah

Redeployment Coordination Committee includes Yemeni government and Houthi rebels but is chaired by the UN

A team including members of Yemen’s warring sides will be dispatched within a day to monitor a truce deal in Hodeidah city, a United Nations official said on Tuesday, December 18.

“The Redeployment Coordination Committee is expected to start its work within the next 24 hours,” the official, who requested anonymity, told AFP.

The RCC includes members of the Saudi-backed Yemeni government and the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels but is chaired by the United Nations.

“Both parties said publicly they are abiding by the ceasefire,” the U.N. official said.

The RCC will oversee the implementation of the truce. Military redeployment from the ports of Hodeidah, Salif and Ras Isa, as well as from “critical parts of the city associated with the humanitarian facilities” is the first phase of the implementation of the agreement, and it is due to be complete within two weeks.

The full redeployment of all forces from Hodeidah city and the ports should be complete within 21 days of the ceasefire, according to the agreement.

The committee chair is expected to report weekly to the U.N. Security Council.

The ceasefire was meant to enter into force at midnight on Monday but clashes continued until 3 a.m. (1200 GMT), pro-government sources and residents said.

Calm held on Tuesday morning in Hodeida city, whose Red Sea port is the gateway for the vast majority of imports to Yemen.

The two warring sides have welcomed the truce, which was agreed at the U.N.-sponsored talks in Sweden last week.

Impoverished Yemen has been mired in fighting between the Houthi rebels and troops loyal to President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi since 2014.

The war escalated in 2015 when a Saudi-led military coalition intervened on the government’s side.

Since then some 10,000 people have been killed, according to the World Health Organization, but some rights groups believe the toll is far higher.

With reporting from AFP

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