Yemeni Parties Agree to Detailed Hodeidah Pullback Plan

No timeline, but growing optimism for deal

Months of deals intended to see combat forces withdraw from Yemen’s vital aid city of Hodeidah haven’t accomplished much. The UN was upbeat on the deal Monday, saying that a new deal was reached between pro-Saudi forces and the Houthis.

The new deal still has no specific timeline, but UN officials say that it included a detailed plan for troop movements going forward on both sides. Neither side is willing to unilaterally pull back, given how often each side has dishonored a deal. The deal, then, hinges on a series of very small moves on each side.

The plan was meant to have been worked out in December, but some specifics were never sorted out. The terms of the deal, for instance, made it unclear if the withdrawal of Houthi fighters from Hodeidah meant the ports and grain mills would be ceded. The Houthis said these sites would have local management, which meant their management, even if they didn’t have their militias in the area.

There is more optimism about the plan after this latest deal, though the UN is still not providing a lot of specifics about what was actually agreed to. Recent fighting near the mills has prevented UN access to the site for fumigation, raising concern about the state of the food there.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.