Yemeni government and Houthi militants ‘accept’ Hodeidah troop redeployment plan

Coalition forces guarding the Red Sea Mills grain store in Hodeidah. (AFP/File)
Updated 16 April 2019

Yemeni government and Houthi militants ‘accept’ Hodeidah troop redeployment plan

  • UN Yemen envoy Martin Griffiths tells Security Council that breakthrough of new detailed redeployment plan "extremely welcome"
  • Arab coalition supporting government troops says Houthis have committed dozens of violations of Stockholm agreement

LONDON: Both sides in the Yemen conflict have agreed to a new plan to redeploy their troops in the port of Hodeidah, the UN envoy to the country said on Monday.

The breakthrough comes months after a ceasefire deal for the port city was struck in Sweden between the Iran-backed Houthi militia and Yemeni government forces.

However, implemenetation of the deal in Hodeidah, which became the main focus of the conflict, has stalled with the Arab coalition supporting government troops accusing the Houthis of dozens of violations of the deal.

Martin Griffiths told a Security Council meeting that the breakthrough of the two sides agreeing to a new “detailed redeployment plan” for Hodeidah was “extremely welcome.”

He said the redeployment “would be the first voluntary withdrawal of forces in this long conflict.”

“We all need to see tangible progress in Hodeida before moving to focus on the political solution,” Griffiths added.

The detailed plan on the pullback was negotiated by Danish General Michael Lollesgaard who heads a UN monitoring mission.

Following the deal on the first stage, Lollesgaard will now focus on the second phase and seek to resolve disputes over the deployment of local forces in areas from where there has been a pullback.

UN diplomats have said the Houthis refused to pull away from Hodeida ports as part of the first stage.

*With AFP

US Navy says mine fragments, magnet point to Iran in Gulf tanker attack

Updated 21 min 36 sec ago

US Navy says mine fragments, magnet point to Iran in Gulf tanker attack

  • The mines bear a resemblance to some that were displayed in Iranian military parades
  • The US commander talked to reporters in a NACENT facility in Fujairah

FUJAIRAH: The United States Navy on Wednesday displayed limpet mine fragments and a magnet removed from one of two oil tankers attacked in the Gulf of Oman last week, saying the mines bore a striking resemblance to Iranian ones.
“The limpet mine that was used in the attack is distinguishable and also strikingly bearing a resemblance to Iranian mines that have already been publicly displayed in Iranian military parades,” said Commander Sean Kido, the commanding officer of an explosive ordinance dive and salvage task group in the Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT).
He spoke to reporters at a NAVCENT facility near the United Arab Emirates’ Fujairah port.