ALGIERS – The parties to the conflict in Yemen, the armed "Ansarullah" (Houthis) and the government, continued on Tuesday to accuse each other of the non-implementation of the agreement , signed between the belligerents under the auspices of the UN in Sweden, which aims to initiate peace talks and end hostilities in the country.
The elements of the "Ansarullah" movement (Houthis) began withdrawing from the port of Hodeida, a key town in western Yemen, pursuant to an agreement reached with the government in early December, a withdrawal doubt by Yemeni officials.
The Houthis began Saturday "the first phase of redeployment (by withdrawing) from the port of Hodeida," according to an Ansarullah movement official at the Saba Yemeni news agency.
But a pro-government official shared the Loyalists' "surprise". "To whom did they (the Houthis, ed) entrust the port, and how?" He asked, adding that "the Houthis took advantage of their control of Hodeida to place their fighters in the navy and the guards. coasts, which is a source of concern for the legitimate government ".
In a statement, quoted by Saba news agency, another pro-government official said it was "a transparent attempt to change the meaning of the agreement" reached earlier this month in Sweden .
The UN-sponsored agreement concluded in Sweden provides for a truce that has already entered into force on 18 December in Hodeida, the main front of the conflict and the entry point for most of the country's imports and aid humanitarian. The city has been controlled since 2014 by the Houthis against which government forces had led an offensive to try to regain control of the city.
Government forces are thus required to withdraw from parts of the city they have conquered. The UN Security Council decided last week to send civilian observers to Yemen to secure the operation of the strategic port of Hodeida and oversee the evacuation of the Houthis from that city.
However, the truce remains fragile: in fact, the fighting, skirmishes and other exchanges of fire have not really stopped since its entry into force while both parties accuse each other of violating it.
In addition to the ceasefire, the Swedish agreement provides for an exchange of some 15,000 prisoners as well as measures to facilitate the delivery of aid to Taez (southwest), a city in the hands of the Loyalists and besieged by the Houthis. Inter-senate talks are scheduled to resume in late January.
Guterres Calls for Unity
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Saturday that the United Nations will continue to bring people together to build bridges and create spaces for solutions in 2019.
In his New Year's message, the UN chief pointed out that the world is under stress as climate change goes fast, geo-political divisions deepen, inequality increases, and record numbers rise. people move for security and protection.
Despite these challenges, Mr. Guterres said there are also reasons to hope, highlighting progress made in negotiations on Yemen, tensions in Ethiopia and Eritrea, the conflict in South Sudan , and the implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate.
"As we prepare to begin this New Year, let us resolve to face threats, defend human dignity and build – together – a better future," added the Secretary General. "When international cooperation works, the world wins," he said.
In this context, the World Food Program (WFP) on Monday accused the Houthis of diverting some of the humanitarian aid to Yemen and called for urgent measures to stop this "criminal behavior."
Otherwise, WFP would be forced to stop working with the Houthis, said the UN agency for emergency food aid, based in Rome. Much of the aid for residents of the armed capital, the capital Sanaa, has never reached its destination, WFP said in a statement.
Several reports have found that some of this food aid was in fact being put up for sale on market stalls in the Yemeni capital, after being hijacked by a Houthi-controlled organization and charged by WFP with distribution. of this aid to Sanaa.
Other cases of diversion have also been reported in other parts of the country controlled by the Houthis, adds WFP. Houthis, meanwhile, denied Tuesday that they were diverting some of the humanitarian aid sent to civilians, accusing WFP of transporting "spoiled food" into the country.
The conflict between the Houthis and troops loyal to President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi intensified in March 2015 with the intervention of the Saudi-led military coalition alongside pro-government groups.
The crisis in Yemen has killed at least 10,000 people since 2015 and caused the worst humanitarian crisis in the world and up to 20 million people are "food insecure", according to the UN.