Yemen's Ansarullah urges UN to press ex-govt. to withdraw forces from key ports
Story Code : 793738
The movement’s spokesman Mohammed Abdulsalam on Saturday strongly called on the UN and the UNSC to “prove, even once,” their “credibility on the ground” by pressuring the so-called government, led by Yemen’s ex-president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, to pull out its forces from the key ports of Hudaydah, Salif and Ras Isa.
The movement, which has been significantly helping the Yemeni army against a Saudi-led military coalition for the past four years, signed a UN-brokered truce deal with Hadi’s so-called government in the Swedish capital of Stockholm on December 13.
According to the agreement, Houthi fighters, who are in control of the three port cities, and Hadi’s militia, who have laid a tight siege on Hudaydah since June 2018, must withdraw their forces from the ports, particularly from Hudaydah, through whose docks more than 70 percent of Yemen’s imports used to pass.
On Friday, Lt. Gen. Michael Lollesgaard, who heads the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC), a UN mission to monitor the deal, said that Houthis would make an “initial unilateral redeployment” of their forces from the three key ports between May 11 and May 14.
Later on Saturday, Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, the head of Yemen's Supreme Revolutionary Committee, said that Houthi fighters began withdrawing from Salif and Ras Isa ports in Hudaydah province.
However, al-Hasan Taher, the so-called governor of Hudaydah province and an ally of Hadi, claimed hours later that Houthis’ withdrawal from the port cities were “fake” and the process were allegedly “were merely reshuffling personnel.”
His comments came a day after Hadi’s information minister said that the report on the Houthis' redeployment offer “is inaccurate and misleading.”
He claimed that the reported redeployment offer was “unacceptable” because a required joint monitoring and verification mechanism as stipulated in the December pact was not foreseen in the UN's Friday arrangement.
Abdulsalam’s statement on Saturday is considered as a response to both Hadi’s officials and also to denounce Hadi’s refusal to pull out his forces from the key ports according to the truce deal.
“We stress the need for the United Nations to pressure the aggressor to take similar steps to contribute to the implementation of the Stockholm Agreement and the achievement of peace,” he said, adding, “The redeployment step comes at a time when the Alliance of Aggression continues to postpone and obstruct the implementation of its commitments with a view to thwarting” the peace deal.
Leading a coalition of its allies, Saudi Arabia invaded Yemen in March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall Hadi, who had resigned amid popular discontent and fled to Riyadh, and to crush the Houthis.
The imposed war initially consisted of an aerial campaign, but was later coupled with a naval blockade and the deployment of ground mercenaries to Yemen. Furthermore, armed militia forces loyal to Hadi, in line with invaders, launch frequent attacks against Yemeni people in regions held by Houthis.
The aggression is estimated to have left 56,000 Yemenis dead.
The Saudi-led war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN has said that a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger. According to the world body, Yemen is suffering from the most severe famine in more than 100 years.
A number of Western countries, the US, France, and Britain in particular, are also accused of being complicit in the ongoing aggression as they supply the Riyadh regime with advanced weapons and military equipment as well as logistical and intelligence assistance.