The UN Security Council on Thursday urged Yemen’s government fighters and Houthi rebels to pull back their forces from the key city of Hodeida “as soon as possible” in line with a ceasefire deal reached four months ago.
The council warned in a unanimous statement that it will “monitor the parties’ compliance with the redeployment plans” as it awaits a report by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on whether the sides are upholding commitments.
“The Yemeni government has demonstrated a clear commitment to the #UN-led process. It is time for the Houthis to also show the international community they too are serious about the UN process and the agreements that they themselves reached in Stockholm,” said Ambassador Jonathan Cohenat at UN Security Council open debate on Yemen last Monday.
The redeployment of forces was agreed in December under a ceasefire deal reached in Sweden that offered the best hope in years of moving toward an end to the war that has pushed Yemen to the brink of famine.
UN envoy Martin Griffiths told the council on Monday that the government and rebels had agreed to the operational details of the first long-delayed pullback of forces from Hodeida.
The United Nations announced a deal on the two-stage pullback from Hodeida city and its ports in February, but the redeployment failed to materialize on the ground and the peace effort has since stalled.