Yemen’s warring parties reached an agreement on a ceasefire in the port city of Hodeidah, UN chief Antonio Guterres said on Thursday, as UN-backed peace consultations in the rural Swedish town of Rimbo neared a close.“There is a ceasefire declared for the whole governorate of Hodeidah in the agreement and there will be both from the city and the harbour a withdrawal of all forces,” Mr Guterres told reporters.
“In the harbour the UN will assume a very important monitoring role and in the city the order will be maintained by the local forces,” he added, referring to forces recognised by the Yemeni government.Mr Guterres added that the agreement included the establishment of humanitarian corridors.
He said that he expects forces will start withdrawing “within days” form three key ports in Hodeidah governorate before both government and rebel forces begin disengaging in the city. The three ports, named by the UN head, are Al Hodeidah, Al Salif and Ras Issa. They are the main entry points for food and aid shipments to Yemen.
The UN will be supervise the management of Hodeidah port and will inspect all incoming ships, a Houthi delegate said. There has not been agreement on a ceasefire in the rest of Yemen beyond Hodeidah, the UN chief added. An agreement on Sanaa airport was expected within a week, he said.
The UN head said no agreement had been reached on a political framework. The issue will be discussed during a second round of talks at the end of January, he added.
He thanked the Yemeni delegations for what he called “an important step” and “real progress toward future talks to end the conflict.”
The UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Gargash described the development as “encouraging,” and said “important political progress” has been made on the status of Hodeidah.
“The diplomatic progress was made possible by sustained military pressure against the Houthis along the Red Sea and around Hodeidah,” he said on Twitter.