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Yemen's Houthi Forces Redeploy from Key Ports 'Partly as Agreed' - UN

© REUTERS / Khaled AbdullahTribesmen hold their weapons as they attend a tribal gathering to show support to the Houthi movement in Sanaa, Yemen November 10, 2016.
Tribesmen hold their weapons as they attend a tribal gathering to show support to the Houthi movement in Sanaa, Yemen November 10, 2016. - Sputnik International
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Yemen's Houthi forces have partly executed an agreement to redeploy away from key ports in the country as agreed under a peace accord reached last year, the United Nations Mission to Support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA) said in a statement on Tuesday.

"The Chairman of the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC), Lieutenant General Michael Lollesgaard, visited today the ports of Hodeidah, Salif and Ras Issa to verify the redeployment of Ansar Allah (Houthi) forces", the statement said. "UN teams have been monitoring this redeployment which has been executed, partly as agreed by the Yemeni parties in the concept of phase one".

Lollesgaard welcomed the Houthi forces' move to transfer control over the security of the ports to the coast guard and remove military equipment from the facilities, the statement said.

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He conceded that much work remains to be done in terms of removing military manifestations from port facilities, but welcomed the fact that "cooperation has been very good", the statement said.

"These steps are significant as the first part of the broader redeployments in Hodeidah, to which both Yemeni parties continue to express their commitment," the UN mission said. "Lollesgaard urges the parties to finalise the outstanding negotiations to allow for full implementation of phases one and two of the Hodeidah Agreement".

The UN mission will continue monitoring initial steps in implementing the Ceasefire Agreement, the statement added.

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Yemen's warring parties reached the ceasefire agreement during talks in Stockholm last December. Under the deal, the Yemeni government led by President Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi and the rebel Houthi movement agreed to a ceasefire in the key port city of Al Hodeidah, which had witnessed months of heavy fighting between the rival forces.

Martin Griffiths, the UN envoy for Yemen, said in mid-April that the government and the Houthis had reached a consensus on a plan for the initial redeployment of forces from the key port of Al Hodeidah.

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