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.