UN convenes warring sides in Yemen's Hodeida
December 26 2018 02:09 PM
Retired Dutch general Patrick Cammaert (R), who heads a United Nations team tasked with monitoring a
Retired Dutch general Patrick Cammaert (R), who heads a United Nations team tasked with monitoring a ceasefire in Yemen's Hodeidah

AFP/Dubai

A UN-led truce monitoring team including members of Yemen's warring sides held its first meeting in the flashpoint city of Hodeida on Wednesday, a pro-government official told AFP.

‘We are expecting a good outcome,’ said the official, who requested anonymity.

The ceasefire in the rebel-held city, whose Red Sea port is vital for millions at risk of starvation, is part of a peace push seen as the best chance yet of ending four years of devastating conflict.

Retired Dutch general Patrick Cammaert is heading the joint committee including Saudi-backed government officials and Iran-aligned Houthi rebels to oversee the truce.

Loyalist members of the committee were transported to the meeting from east of the city in UN vehicles, a Yemeni government official told AFP on condition anonymity.

Sporadic clashes on Wednesday morning underscored the fragility of the truce that began last week, as both sides accused each other of violating the ceasefire.

The war between the Houthi rebels and troops loyal to President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi escalated in 2015.

Since then, the war has killed some 10,000 people, according to the World Health Organization, although human rights groups say the real death toll could be five times as high.

The conflict has unleashed a major humanitarian crisis and pushed 14 million Yemenis to the brink of famine.



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