Cease-fire monitors arrive in Hodeida

Elias Hubbard
December 24, 2018

Cammaert arrived in Hodeida from the rebel-held capital Sanaa after meeting with government officials in Aden.

A military source based in the city told Xinhua on anonymity that the Houthis engaged in fierce armed clashes with the government forces in the western part of Hodeidah, coinciding with the arrival of the United Nations monitoring team.

"The Redeployment Coordination Committee [RCC] led by General Cammaert, will focus on the issues of defusing Houthi landmines in the port and residential areas", a Yemeni military source told The National on Sunday.

The ceasefire was agreed at peace talks in Sweden earlier this month following intense diplomatic efforts led by the UN.

The sides in Yemen's almost four-year war agreed during UN-sponsored peace talks in Sweden earlier this month to stop fighting in Hodeida city and its province and withdraw forces.

Retired Dutch general Patrick Cammaert is heading a joint committee including members of the government and the Houthi rebels, in charge of monitoring a truce in the vital Red Sea city and its surroundings, AFP reported.

A United Nations security team had arrived in Hodeida ahead of the cease-fire monitors to secure housing for them and set up an operations center, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media. Mr Guterres will report to the Council on a weekly basis regarding the ceasefire and the situation in Yemen.

The Arab Coalition has stated that the Houthis have violated the ceasefire in Yemen 14 times since Friday.

Elsewhere in Yemen, fighting over the past two days between forces loyal to the government and Shiite rebels west of the northern province of Marib has left at least 85 dead from both sides.

Cammaert and his team are due to travel later to Sanaa, and then proceed by road to Hodeida, where both sides have accused the other of breaching the truce. The ceasefire accord is regarded as the most significant step towards ending the devastating conflict that has raged in Yemen since 2015.

The text approved by the Security Council "insists on the full respect by all parties of the ceasefire agreed" for Hodeida.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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