UN confirms Hodeidah truce is holding

The UN has been monitoring the Houthi pullout from Hodeidah. (File/AFP)
Updated 15 May 2019

UN confirms Hodeidah truce is holding

  • “There is still a lot of work to be done … but cooperation has been very good," says head of the UN observer team

HODEIDAH: The Houthis in Yemen have handed over security of key Red Sea ports to the coast guard but work remains to remove military equipment, the UN said on Tuesday.

The Iran-backed militia’s withdrawal is part of a hard-won truce agreement in Sweden in December between the Houthis and the legitimate government, supported by a Saudi-led coalition.

The UN has been monitoring the Houthi pullout from Hodeidah, Saleef and Ras Isa ports and a UN team was there on Tuesday to verify the redeployment. 

Its head, Gen. Michael Lollesgaard, welcomed the handover “of the security of the ports to the coast guard,” the UN said. 

“There is still a lot of work to be done … but cooperation has been very good.

“UN teams will continue to monitor these initial steps in an impartial and transparent manner.”

Hodeidah port is a lifeline for the import of food, medicines and other vital humanitarian supplies for millions in Yemen, but the Houthis also use it to smuggle arms and ammunition from Iran.


Saudi Arabia, other Middle East countries warn citizens after protests erupt in Lebanon

Updated 54 min 32 sec ago

Saudi Arabia, other Middle East countries warn citizens after protests erupt in Lebanon

  • Saudi Arabia and Egypt called on citizens to avoid protest areas
  • Kuwait’s embassy in Lebanon asked citizens wishing to travel to Lebanon to postpone their plans

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Lebanon called on its citizens to avoid places where protests are taking place in the country on Friday. 

The Kingdom’s embassy in Beirut advised its nationals to take care and to “stay away from places of protest,” Al-Ekhbariya news channel reported. 

It also announced that the Lancaster Plaza Beirut hotel in the capital's Raouche neighborhood is a gathering point from which Saudi nationals can be transported to Beirut airport. 

Egypt’s embassy in the Lebanese capital Beirut also called on its nationals in the country to avoid protest areas, Egyptian state news agency MENA said.

“The embassy calls on all Egyptian citizens in Lebanon to avoid the areas of gatherings and protests, to be careful in their movements and to abide by the instructions of the Lebanese authorities in this regard,” MENA said.

Meanwhile, Kuwait’s embassy in Lebanon asked citizens wishing to travel to Lebanon to wait because of the current protests and unrest.

“The embassy also calls on citizens currently in Lebanon to take utmost care and stay away from crowds and demonstrations,” the embassy said in its tweet.

Protesters across Lebanon blocked roads with burning tires on Friday and thousands marched in Beirut, calling on the government to resign over an economic crisis.