The New Arab Logo

Breaking News
Houthi withdrawal from Hodeida 'went to plan', UN says Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Houthi withdrawal from Hodeida 'went to plan', UN says

The Houthis withdrew from the ports on Sunday under UN supervision [Getty]

Date of publication: 12 May, 2019

Share this page:
  • 0

  • twitter
The first day of a withdrawal of forces by Yemen’s Houthi movement from Hodeida ports went “in accordance with established plans”, the UN said on Sunday.
The UN defended progress made on the first day of a withdrawal of forces by Yemen’s Houthi movement from three of Yemen’s Red Sea ports on Sunday, saying it went “in accordance with established plans” despite doubts by government officials.

“All three ports were monitored simultaneously by United Nations teams as the military forces left the ports and the Coast Guard took over responsibility for security,” Lt. Gen. Michael Lollesgaard, head of the UN’s Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC), said in a statement.

The remarks came after doubts were cast across the spectrum, including senior government officials who claimed the rebels withdrawal was nothing but a ploy.

Yemen's information minister accused the rebels of faking the pullout. 

"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 on Sunday. 

"This shows its continued manipulation and evasion to implement the Sweden agreement... by adopting a policy of deception.”

Similar sentiments were expressed by the govenor of Hodeida, Al-Hasan Taher, who said the Houthis were merely reshuffling personnel, echoing opinions shared by Yemenis on social media.

"The Houthis are staging a new ploy by handing over the ports of Hodeida, Saleef and Ras Issa to themselves without any monitoring by the United Nations and the government side," the government-appointed official said.

UN envoy "Martin Griffiths wants to achieve victory even if the Houthis hand over (the ports) to themselves," Taher said.

"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.

Meanwhile, the British ambassador to Yemen triggered debate online after accusing Yemenis suspicious of the withdrawal as “cynics”.

“The Yemeni cynics who criticize everything the other side does even if it is positive and who say the UN are naive seem to be saying the only solution is perpetual war in Yemen. I have more faith in Yemenis and believe they can live together in peace and security,” Michael Aron tweeted just hours after the Houthis announced the withdrawal.

But the remarks were met with anger by Yemenis on social media, many of which urged the ambassador to take on board the opinion of people on the ground.

“Please make an effort to listen to them & understand their perspective instead of accusing them of being war mongers. Their reaction & comments r based on experience & solid understanding of the situation. Also & again there is no progress. Houthis handed the port to themselves!,” Yemeni author Nadwa Dawsari responded in a tweet.

Yemeni government official Hamzah Kamaly meanwhile said “Your excellency this is not cynicism, it is realism , Yemeni ppl want sustainable peace , we want your appreciated efforts together with UN and everybody to reach peace , what happened today isn’t step forward it  is frustration for peace process.”

Hodeida port is the main entry point for the bulk of Yemen's imports and humanitarian aid, serving as a lifeline to millions of civilians pushed to the brink of famine by more than four years of war.

Follow us on Twitter: @The_NewArab

The New ArabComments

Most Popular

Most Popular

    Read More