UN presents new plan for Yemen pullback from Hodeidah

The United Nations will present a new plan for the pullback of forces from Yemen's flashpoint city of Hodeidah following talks with the government and the Houthis. (File/ AFP)
Updated 20 March 2019
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UN presents new plan for Yemen pullback from Hodeidah

  • 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
  • The UN envoy's statement did not give a date for the start of the pullback, which would mark the first step towards de-escalation

UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations will present a new plan for the pullback of forces from Yemen’s flashpoint city of Hodeidah following talks with the government and the Houthis, a UN envoy said Tuesday.
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.
“Following constructive discussions with both parties, there is significant progress towards an agreement to implement phase one of the redeployments of the Hodeida agreement,” said a statement from Martin Griffiths, the UN envoy for Yemen.
“Operational details will be presented to the parties in the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC) for endorsement shortly,” he added.
The UN envoy’s statement did not give a date for the start of the pullback, which would mark the first step towards de-escalation.
Griffiths said he “looks forward to the swift endorsement of the plan.”
The United Nations announced a deal on the two-stage pullback from Hodeidah city and its ports on February 17, but the redeployment failed to materialize on the ground.
UN diplomats said the Houthis were refusing to pull away from the ports as part of the first stage. 
Griffiths and head of the RCC, Danish General Michael Lollesgaard, have been holding talks with all sides to overcome the final hurdles.
The Red Sea port of Hodeidah is the entry point for the bulk of imported goods and relief aid to Yemen.
The conflict in Yemen has unleashed the world’s worst humanitarian conflict.


Iraq court sentences four to death for joining Daesh

U.S. Marines from Lima Company, a part of a 7-th Marine Regiment take a rest in front of the Martyrs Monument (not pictured) in Baghdad April 9, 2003. (REUTERS)
Updated 19 sec ago
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Iraq court sentences four to death for joining Daesh

  • Daesh captured a third of Iraq in 2014 but was largely defeated both there and in neighboring Syria where US-backed forces proclaimed last month the capture of Daesh’s last territory

BAGHDAD: An Iraqi court has sentenced four people to death by hanging for belonging to the Daesh militant group and committing terrorist crimes in Iraq and Syria, a judiciary statement said on Sunday.
The four men, wanted by Iraqi authorities, were handed to Iraq by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the statement said.
A Baghdad criminal court convicted them for joining Daesh and “carrying out criminal operations that targeted innocent civilians with the aim of undermining peace and stability in Iraq and Syria.” A judicial source said the four men were Iraqi.
In February, Iraq’s military said the SDF had handed 280 Iraqi and foreign detainees to Baghdad.
Thousands of foreigners have fought on behalf of Daesh in Iraq and Syria since at least 2014. Many foreign women came — or were brought — from overseas to join the militants. Iraqi courts are relying on counterterrorism laws to prosecute thousands of suspects, including foreign militants, for joining the ultra-hard-line militant group.
Human rights groups have accused Iraqi and other regional forces of inconsistencies in the judicial process and flawed trials leading to unfair convictions.
Daesh captured a third of Iraq in 2014 but was largely defeated both there and in neighboring Syria where US-backed forces proclaimed last month the capture of Daesh’s last territory.