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Yemen’s Legitimacy Asks for Safe Corridors in Hodeidah

Yemen’s Legitimacy Asks for Safe Corridors in Hodeidah

Friday, 15 November, 2019 - 07:00
FILE PHOTO: A coast guard walks past a ship docked at the Red Sea port of Hodeidah, Yemen January 5, 2019. REUTERS/Abduljabbar Zeyad/File Photo

The legitimate government asked Chair of the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC) and head of the United Nations Mission to Support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA) Abhijit Guha to “open humanitarian corridors in the city of Hodeidah,” an informed Yemeni source told Asharq Al-Awsat.

The government explained that it requested to open the corridors because of the presence of government-controlled areas in the city, although Houthi militias rule most of it, the source said Thursday.

If Guha agrees, it would mean that the priority set in the Hodeidah plan is no longer the withdrawal of Houthis from the port city, but rather the establishment of the corridors.

The Hodeidah Agreement stipulates that Western powers will provide technology to monitor the redeployments, with an agreement that policing in Hodeidah becomes the responsibility of “local security forces in accordance with Yemeni law.”

Under the UN plan, Houthis should make an “initial unilateral redeployment” in the city and be replaced by coast guards. However, the government accuses the militias of not withdrawing from the city. It said Houthis have only exchanged their military uniforms by that of the coast guards to remain in Hodeidah.

On Wednesday, Guha discussed with Yemeni officials several issues related to the Hodeidah Agreement.

“The officials tackled with Guha the freedom of movement of the UN delegation, the liaison officers and the observers, rejecting that it becomes restricted by militias,” the source said.

The two sides also discussed the need to send UN observers to the observation posts where UN patrols should be activated.

Meanwhile, other sources said that Guha and his UN team are almost considered as hostages, whose actions are controlled by militias.

“They are unable to move freely and to observe what is happening in the city,” the sources added.

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