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Yemen Redeployment Committee Resumes Meetings at Hodeidah Port

Yemen Redeployment Committee Resumes Meetings at Hodeidah Port

Monday, 15 July, 2019 - 07:45
Representatives of the UN Redeployment Coordination Committee attend a joint meeting with representatives of the Yemeni government and the Houthis on a vessel off the coast on Sunday. (AFP)
Aden - Ali Rabih

Head of the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC) for Yemen resumed Sunday its meetings aboard a UN vessel off Hodeidah port.

The meeting was attended by representatives from the legitimate government and Iran-backed Houthi militias, which refused to attend the meeting in government-controlled areas.

RCC chief Lt. Gen. Michael Lollesgaard held a bilateral meeting with the government team, led by Major General Saghir bin Aziz, before heading to Hodeidah port to pick up the Houthi representatives, West coast liberation operations spokesman Waddah al-Dbish told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Bin Aziz had earlier tweeted that the tripartite meeting of the RCC will be held in the open sea, off Hodeidah city.

“The Houthi militias have closed all the border crossings inside the city and restricted Lollesgaard’s movement, in violation of article 10 of the Stockholm agreement,” he said.

Dbish told Asharq Al-Awsat that the government team informed Lollesgaard of its rejection of all unilateral actions carried out by the militias in recent months.

It also called for an immediate revision of what they have implemented in regards to the withdrawal from Hodeidah’s three ports, removal of mines and arranging security forces that will be tasked with protecting these ports.

Bin Aziz informed Lollesgaard that this will be the last chance to implement the Hodeidah agreement, according to the Stockholm deal, Dbish revealed.

He also said that the Houthis blocked all possible opportunities for peace due to their intransigence and refusal to comply with the agreed steps of the redeployment plan.

The joint meeting was the first in more than 10 weeks. During this time, Lollesgaard made do with only meeting with Houthi leaders in Hodeidah.

The government team had refused to meet with him in protest against the militias’ claimed withdrawals from Hodeidah’s three ports of Salif, Ras Issa and Hodeidah. It also protested against keeping it out of the process of validating the redeployment and removal of mines and agreeing on the security forces that will take over control of the three ports.

In May, the UN announced that the Houthis had withdrawn from Hodeidah’s three ports, the first practical step since the December 2018 ceasefire deal.

But the government accused the militias of faking the pullout, saying they had merely handed control to their allies.

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