GENEVA: Yemen's Houthi group has agreed to unilaterally redeploy forces out of three key ports between May 11 and May 14, a UN statement said on Friday, a move needed to pave the way for political negotiations to end Yemen's four-year war.
The statement from the Redeployment Coordination Committee said the Houthis would make an "initial unilateral redeployment" from the ports of Saleef, which is used for grain, and Ras Isa, used for oil, as well as the major port of Hodeidah.
The committee, led by Danish general Michael Lollesgaard, head of the UN observer team in Hodeidah, drew up the redeployment plans under a pact agreed last December in Sweden, the first major breakthrough in peace efforts to end a war that has killed tens of thousands and pushed Yemen to the brink of famine.
The UN mission will monitor the redeployment, a first step towards concluding the peace agreement, the statement said, adding that it must be followed by "the committed, transparent and sustained actions of the parties to fully deliver on their obligations".
The redeployment should allow the United Nations to take "a leading role in supporting the Red Sea Ports Corporation in managing the ports" and to enhance UN checks on cargoes.
The statement did not mention any reciprocal move by pro-government forces.