Hodeidah: Redeployment Committee “optimistic despite obstacles”

September 11, 2019

Acting Chairman of the Redeployment Coordinating Committee in support of the Hodeidah Agreement, General Hani Nakhla, revealed in his first talk to media, that the atmosphere of negotiations between the Yemeni government and the Houthis in Hodeidah is positive, despite some field and political obstacles.

He added that “the Yemeni parties deal positively with the talks,

Lebanese-born Nakhla is the chairman of the Hudaydah Redeployment Coordination Committee and  ceasefire. The Commission has exclusive powers to implement the Stockholm Agreement signed in December 2018, a time-bound military-field commission.

“The work of the committee is technical, which facilitates interaction among its members,” he said. “There was an agreement between the two communities to activate the ceasefire and put the mechanism for them, and most importantly, the intentions between the two parties are positive, and there is enthusiasm and rush, which are encouraging and good,” he said.

The sixth meeting of the committee at sea ended on Monday aboard a UN ship in the open waters off Hodeidah, western Yemen, headed by General Nakhla, in the presence of representatives of the legitimate government and the Houthis. At the conclusion of its Joint Meeting, the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC) announced the establishment and operation of the Joint Operations Center at the Mission’s headquarters in Hodeidah, comprising liaison officers from both parties (the legitimate Yemeni Government and the Houthis), as well as UNMIS officers.

General Hani Nakhla pointed out that “the committee’s meetings are over, and we are now preparing the final conclusions, and the Stockholm agreement will remain in place”, he talked about field, political and technical obstacles that delay some aspects of the agreement.

Refraining from giving any further information about the talks, noting that the atmosphere is positive, Nakhla stressed that “the basic objectives of the Stockholm Agreement in Hodeidah have been achieved and some field and political objectives are still being pursued.”

The Redeployment Coordination Committee has activated the truce mechanism and reinforced the ceasefire agreed upon at its previous meeting last July.

“The implementation of the Commission’s work, particularly the stabilization and completion of redeployment, is linked to the completion of other files outside the jurisdiction of the Commission,” he said, declining to give further details given the sensitivity of those issues. “The committee is determined to stabilize the steps it takes, even if they are slow, and prefer to let things go away from the media,” he said.

It is noteworthy that the Yemeni government and the Houthis had reached an agreement on Hodeidah within the framework of the Stockholm agreement in December 2018, but it could not be implemented since then, due to obstacles set by Houthi militias,As well as resorting to unilateral steps to represent its withdrawal from the ports through the withdrawal of its elements in popular attire and the replacement of other elements affiliated to them as Coast Guard forces, which was rejected by the legitimate government and considered a play.

Perhaps the most problematic provision of the Stockholm Convention is how to deal with the security forces in Hodeidah, as well as how to deal with port revenues.

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