In a new statement on Wednesday, UN special representative for Yemen
Martin Griffiths confirmed that both sides have largely stuck to last month’s ceasefire deal in and around the vital aid port of Hodeidah.
Both sides have said the other are violating the ceasefire, but despite that actual fighting in the area is far down from before the Sweden peace talks. That’s not to say that every part of the deal is falling into place.
Griffiths says that the place where progress really needs to be made is the deal for both sides to withdraw all troops from the area. The agreement was for both to withdraw within 30 days, though almost no troops from either side have actually withdrawn.
In both cases, allegations of ceasefire violations have kept the other side’s forces intact, anticipating that the ceasefire will collapse. This has happened several times in the past, so it is perhaps understanding that they’re both expecting it to happen again.
The Houthis have moved some limited forces to the outskirts, suggesting that they were about to start the withdrawal from Hodeidah. This never picked up pace, however, and the Saudi-backed forces show no sign of reciprocating.
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