UN monitors Houthi withdrawal from Yemen’s Hodeidah

Members of the United Nations observer mission meet with local officials during the Yemeni Houthi withdrawal from Saleef port in the western Red Sea Hodeida province, on May 11, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 12 May 2019

UN monitors Houthi withdrawal from Yemen’s Hodeidah

  • Yemen's information minister dismissed the Houthis' withdrawal announcement, accusing them of "a policy of deception"
  • The governor of Hodeidah, Al-Hasan Taher, said Saturday the Houthis were merely reshuffling personnel

CAIRO: The UN says it is monitoring the redeployment of Houthi forces from three key ports in Yemen after the government dismissed the withdrawal as a “farce.”
Lt. Gen. Michael Lollesgaard, the head of a UN mission monitoring the cease-fire in Hodeidah, said Sunday that monitors will verify the Houthi withdrawal from the ports of Hodeida, Salif and Ras-Issa on Tuesday.
The Houthis say they began withdrawing on Saturday, in line with a long-delayed agreement reached in in December. Both sides agreed to withdraw from Hodeidah, which handles 70 percent of Yemen’s food imports and humanitarian aid, but remain divided over who will administer the ports after they leave.
The pullback is considered a first step in implementing a hard-won truce agreement for Hodeidah struck in Sweden in December between Yemen's internationally recognised government and the Iran-backed Houthis.
Yemen's information minister dismissed the Houthis' withdrawal announcement, accusing them of "a policy of deception."
"What the Houthi militia did is a repeated theatrical play of handing over control of the port to its own forces (in different uniforms)," Moammer Al-Eryani tweeted.
"This shows its continued manipulation and evasion to implement the Sweden agreement... by adopting a policy of deception."
The governor of Hodeidah, Al-Hasan Taher, said Saturday the Houthis were merely reshuffling personnel.
"The Houthis are staging a new ploy by handing over the ports of Hodeidah, Saleef and Ras Issa to themselves without any monitoring by the United Nations and the government side," said the official.
"This is totally rejected by us, and the agreement must be implemented in full, especially with regards to the identity of the troops that will take over from the Houthis," he added.


Bashir defense asks Sudan court for bail release

Updated 21 min 15 sec ago

Bashir defense asks Sudan court for bail release

  • Bashir, wearing a traditional white gown, sat in the same metal cage he appeared in on Monday when his trial on graft charges opened
  • The former Sudanese leader is also wanted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague over his role in mass killings in the western region of Darfur

KHARTOUM: Sudan’s deposed military ruler Omar Al-Bashir appeared in court Saturday for the second hearing of his corruption trial, during which his defense asked for his release on bail.
Bashir, wearing a traditional white gown, sat in the same metal cage he appeared in on Monday when his trial on graft charges opened.
The judge in Khartoum Saturday heard three witnesses, two of them investigators who searched Bashir’s residency after his ouster and the other a banker.
“We ask the court to release the accused on bail,” Bashir’s lawyer Hashem Abu Bakr said, to which the judge answered he would examine a written request.
After the hearing, as a massive security convoy escorted the 75-year-old Bashir back to prison, two opposing groups of demonstrators had gathered.
One group of a few dozen protesters were chanting slogans for Bashir to face justice not just over corruption but for his role in the the country’s deadly conflicts.
“Bashir is a killer” and “He has to face justice,” chanted some of the demonstrators.
Another smaller group had turned out in support of the deposed Islamist general, who was forced from power by relentless protests in April after 30 years in power.
While the sight of Bashir sitting inside a cage in a courtroom was unthinkable only months ago, many in Sudan and abroad have warned that this trial should not distract from the more serious indictments he faces.
The former Sudanese leader is wanted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague over his role in mass killings in the western region of Darfur.