DUBAI: A ceasefire in Yemen’s battleground port city of Hodeida and its surroundings will start today, a UN official said, after renewed fighting threatened the hard-won accord struck in Sweden.
The deal announced tomorrow between Yemen’s Saudi-backed government and the Huthi rebels included an “immediate ceasefire” in Hodeida, whose Red Sea port serves as a crucial gateway for humanitarian aid.
The UN official, who requested anonymity, told media that the delay to the halt in hostilities until midnight (2100 GMT) yesterday was necessary for “operational reasons”.
Yemen’s Foreign Minister Khaled al-Yamani, who led the government’s delegation to the peace talks, also told state-run television late Sunday that the ceasefire would begin.
Residents in Hodeida and the surrounding areas have reported fierce fighting and air strikes in recent days, as clashes continued between Saudi-backed government forces and the Iran-aligned Huthis.
At least 29 fighters, including 22 Huthi rebels, were killed on Saturday night in Hodeida province, a pro-government military source told media.
Two Hodeida residents reached by telephone told media that they could hear intermittent clashes to the east and south of the city. A pro-government military official said that there were sporadic clashes, adding that a fire erupted in one of the factories in the east of the city due to strikes. —Agencies