By Tom Miles
GENEVA (Reuters) – Yemen’s warring parties have agreed new measures to enforce a ceasefire and facilitate a troop pullback from the flashpoint port of Hodeidah, the United Nations said on Monday.
Representatives of the Iran-aligned Houthi movement and the Saudi-backed Yemeni government met on a U.N. ship in the Red Sea for talks on Sunday and Monday, a U.N. statement said.
The United Nations is trying to broker a withdrawal from Hodeidah – the main entry point for food and humanitarian aid – so U.N.-supervised management can take over.
Yemen’s four-year war has killed tens of thousands of people and left millions on the brink of famine.
The U.N. statement said both sides were keen to reduce hostilities after a rise in ceasefire violations at Hodeidah.
“They agreed on a mechanism and new measures to reinforce the ceasefire and de-escalation, to be put in place as soon as possible,” it said, without giving more details.
The two sides met as members of the “Redeployment Coordination Committee”, a body set up by the United Nations and chaired by Danish Lieutenant General Michael Lollesgaard to oversee the ceasefire and troop exit.
The committee finalised conceptual agreement on troop withdrawals, which now required political leaders’ buy-in, the statement said. Political leaders would also have to agree on “local security forces, local authority and revenues”, the statement said, without elaborating.
(Reporting by Tom Miles; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Andrew Cawthorne)