ADEN: Yemen has demanded that the United Nations, UN, should take a tough stance towards the procrastination by the Houthi rebels in implementing the Stockholm Agreement, reached in Sweden last December.
The parties in Yemen agreed that an immediate ceasefire shall enter into force in the city of Hodeidah, the ports of Hodeidah, Salif and Ras Isa and a mutual redeployment of forces shall be carried out from the city of Hodeidah and the ports of Hodeidah, Salif and Ras Isa to agreed upon locations outside the city and the ports.
According to the agreement, the parties shall be committed not to bring any military reinforcements to the city, the ports of Hodeidah, Salif and Ras Issa, and the governorate and to remove any military manifestations from the city.
“The Head of the UN cease-fire monitoring team, General Michael Lollesgaard, and the UN Special Envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, should take a strict position towards the rebels’ stalling and intransigence and to stop their open deception of the UN and the international community,’’ said Yemeni Foreign Minister Khaled al-Yamani in a statement carried by the Yemen official news agency.
He emphasised that the UN should raise its voice and determine the party which is responsible for not respecting the agreement. He noted that yesterday was the deadline for implementing the first phase of redeployment of forces in Hodeidah and that the Houthi militia is still refusing to withdraw from the ports of Salif and Ras Isa without giving justifiable reasons for failing to do so.
The top Yemeni diplomat explained that the Yemeni government and the Houthi rebels had agreed that, under the supervision of General Lollesgaard, the rebels should withdraw five kilometres from the two ports and that the Yemeni national army should withdraw for a distance of one kilometre and that the militia should remove all mines they planted in the area covered by the first redeployment of forces in the period from 25th to 28th February.
Al-Yamani, who is also head of the Yemeni government delegation to the peace consultations, said that he held the Houthi militia responsible for the failure of the agreement and the fresh setback, particularly in terms of humanitarian issues, because of their stubbornness. He stated that the first redeployment phase calls for the opening up of and the securing a passage to the Red Sea Mills, but that the rebels refuse to honour their commitments in a bid to profit from the humanitarian tragedy in the country.
He added that the militia had also refused to hand over maps of land mines planted in the area which is a key part of the implementation of the agreement.
‘’The Yemeni government has not planted a single mine in areas under its control as part of its commitment and responsibility under the international humanitarian law,’’ he stressed.