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Houthis Again Obstruct Meeting of Hodeidah’s RCC

Houthis Again Obstruct Meeting of Hodeidah’s RCC

Monday, 25 March, 2019 - 06:30
FILE - A cargo ship and oil tanker sit at the port of Hodeidah, Yemen, September 29, 2018. AP
Jeddah - London - Asma al-Ghabri and Asharq Al-Awsat

Representatives from the Iran-backed Houthi militias have once again paralyzed a meeting for the UN Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC) tasked with observing and supporting the implementation of the Stockholm Agreement on the Yemeni Red Sea port city of Hodeidah.

The spokesman for the Yemeni government's delegation to the RCC, Sadiq Dweid, told Asharq Al-Awsat that Houthis refused to attend Monday’s meeting because it was set to be held in a location lying under the control of the legitimate government.

According to the first stage of the Stockholm Agreement, which was struck between the two sides in December, Houthis should pull back five kilometers from the ports of Saleef and Ras Issa.

Dweid said that the insurgents’ intransigence and their constant rejection to withdraw from the ports, have compelled the head of the UN observer mission in Yemen, Danish former general Michael Lollesgaard, to propose a new concept for redeployment by deploying observers to verify the pullout.

“Members of the coast guard will remain at their current positions in limited numbers,” Dweid said, adding that in the second phase of the deal, the UN team should confirm that coast guards and local police forces are not affiliated to the Houthis.

The spokesperson said the redeployment would take place amid mine clearance.

According to Dweid, Houthis agreed on handing mine maps, except for one specific area, which they consider as their defense line.

The deal that was agreed in Stockholm, Sweden, in December was a first step to end Yemen's war. Houthis were given 21 days to implement the agreement and withdraw from Hodeidah.

However, the deadline has since passed without its implementation due to Houthi intransigence and the militias' constant rejection to withdraw from Hodeidah’s ports.

Meanwhile, Saudi Ambassador to Yemen Mohammed bin Saeed Al Jaber, who is also Supervisor of the Saudi Program for Yemen's Development and Rehabilitation, said Sunday the Kingdom has provided support worth $2.2 billion for Yemen in 2018 in addition to another $1 billion deposited earlier.

He said that his country has provided bank credits worth more than $805 million to cover food purchases for the Yemeni people without discrimination.

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