Ansarullah Ready for Redeployment from Hudaydah: Spokesman
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The spokesman of Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah voiced the movement’s readiness to carry out the first phase of a pullback of forces from the port city of Hudaydah, a key provision of a ceasefire deal reached in December 2018 in Sweden.
In a post on his Twitter account on Tuesday, Mohammad Abdulsalam said while the Yemeni army and popular committee forces are prepared for redeployment from Hudaydah, the coalition of invading forces is obstructing the implementation of the plan.
He said the redeployment plan was supposed to begin on Monday morning and the Houthi forces were fully prepared for the pullout, but the other side has begun raising a series of other issues irrelevant to the UN-sponsored deal and has forced chair of the redeployment coordination committee (RCC) Michael Lollesgaard to put the plan on hold.
He also expressed hope that Ansarullah would receive signals from the Danish general and the steps for the implementation of the redeployment plan would start on Tuesday morning.
The redeployment from Hudaydah was a key provision of the ceasefire deal reached in December in Sweden, but deadlines to move forces away from the ports and parts of city have been missed.
The Red Sea port is the entry point for the bulk of Yemen's imported goods and humanitarian aid, providing a lifeline to millions in the Arab world's poorest country.
Following two days of talks in Hudaydah city, the two sides finalized a deal on the first phase of the pullback and also agreed in principle on the second phase.
The talks were led by Lollesgaard as chair of the RCC that includes the Houthis and former government.
"After lengthy but constructive discussions facilitated by the RCC Chair, the parties reached an agreement on Phase 1 of the mutual redeployment of forces," a UN statement said earlier this week.
The sides made "important progress on planning for the redeployment of forces" but no date was given to begin the demilitarization.
"The parties also agreed, in principle, on Phase 2 of the mutual redeployment, pending additional consultations within their respective leadership."
The first phase provides for a pullback from the ports of Hudaydah , Saleef, Ras Issa and from parts of the city where there are humanitarian facilities.
The United Nations is hoping that a de-escalation in Hudaydah will allow desperately-needed food and medical aid to reach millions on the brink of starvation in Yemen.
A new round is planned within a week to finalize details on the second phase of redeployment, the UN statement said.
The ceasefire and a Hudaydah pullback agreed in Stockholm have been hailed as a major step toward ending Saudi Arabia's nearly four-year war on Yemen.
The talks on Saturday and Sunday were the fourth meeting held between the sides to try to agree on the modalities of the pullback of forces since the ceasefire came into force on December 18.