Yemen war: Houthis withdraw from key ports, says UN

The UN says Houthi rebels have pulled out of three key ports in Yemen, in partial implementation of a peace deal agreed six months ago.

A UN monitoring committee said Hudaydah, Salif and Ras Issa had been handed over to local coast guards.

It said work was still needed to remove trenches, barriers and landmines – and to implement the rest of the deal.

Houthis and government forces agreed to withdraw from Hudaydah to allow in vital humanitarian aid.

However, the BBC’s Lyse Doucet says some Yemenis are sceptical about the latest pull-out and accuse the Houthis of leaving fighters in the ports disguised as coast guards.

Yemen’s government has previously warned that the withdrawal would be a rebel “ploy”.

At least 6,800 civilians have died in Yemen’s four-year civil war, the UN says, and more than 10,000 have been injured.

The conflict has brought the country to the brink of famine, with malnutrition and disease claiming thousands more lives.

What does the UN say?

Lt Gen Michael Lollesgaard, head of the UN’s Redeployment Co-ordination Committee (RCC) in Hudaydah, welcomed the Houthi withdrawal from the ports in western Yemen.

He said that since Saturday there had been “very good co-operation” with Houthi commanders and that the UN had been given access to all areas of the ports.

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