Hodeida ceasefire starts on Tuesday: UN

A Yemeni fighter of the pro-government forces walks with a rifle in the Red Sea port city of Hodeida. — AFP

Aden — A ceasefire in Hodeida will begin on Dec. 18, sources from both sides and the United Nations said on Sunday.

The Iranian-aligned Houthi rebels and the legitimate government of Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi agreed on Thursday after a week of UN-sponsored peace talks in Sweden to cease fighting in the Red Sea city and withdraw forces.

A source in the government confirmed the date and said it was officially communicated to both parties in a letter from special Yemen envoy Martin Griffiths.

"While the Hodeida agreement states an immediate start of the ceasefire, it is normal that it takes 48-72 hours to be communicated at the operational level," a UN source said. "We expect the ceasefire to be implemented starting Tuesday."

The agreement, the first significant breakthrough in peace efforts in five years, was part of confidence-building measures discussed at peace talks that aim to pave the way for a wider truce and a framework for political negotiations.

Under the deal, international monitors would be deployed in Hodeida and all armed forces would pull back completely within 21 days of the start of the ceasefire.

A UN-chaired Redeployment Coordination Committee including both sides would oversee implementation. The committee is expected to start its work this week, the UN source said.

Griffiths has asked the Security Council to pass a resolution backing deployment of a robust monitoring regime to oversee compliance with the truce, headed by retired Dutch Major General Patrick Cammaert.

The government and the rebels are due to hold another round of talks in January to agree on the political framework for negotiations to end the war. — Reuters