With the withdrawal of the Houthis from the ports Yemen sees the hope of peace

May 13, 2019

The Yemeni government has asked the United Nations to provide time frames for the next steps in the peace process after Houthi forces began withdrawing from major ports to end the four-year-old war and stop hunger.

Under an agreement signed in Sweden last year, the Houthi group allied with Iran began a withdrawal on Saturday from three Red Sea ports used for grain, oil, trade, and aid.

Local coast guard forces were responsible for security in the Salif, Ras Issa, and Hodeidah ports, according to the United Nations, which oversees operations there.

Some officials of the internationally recognized government backed by Saudi Arabia called the withdrawal a “play” but government negotiator Sadiq Dweid acknowledged it was the beginning of the implementation of the Stockholm accord.

The war killed tens of thousands of people and pushed millions more to the brink of starvation.

Dweid said on Twitter late on Saturday that he had held a positive meeting with the UN chief in which they agreed that the withdrawal should create time frames for the implementation of a UN mechanism for ship inspection and “demining and armed manifestations.”

Although the Houthis’ move encouraged foreign forces to seek to reopen the humanitarian corridors, the Hodeidah fleeing residents said they were not prepared to return.

“I’m afraid of death,” said Sami, 11 years old, who lives with his family in the cemeteries in Aden.

“The war destroyed everything” we have no hope of security or work, said Abdel Rahman Taher, 34, who was forced out of his home in Hodeidah and now works in a car wash in Aden.

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