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End Of Yemeni War? Warring Sides Reach Initial Agreement On Al-Hudaydah And Taiz

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End Of Yemeni War? Warring Sides Reach Initial Agreement On Al-Hudaydah And Taiz

A ship is docked at the Red Sea port of Hodeidah, Yemen, March 23, 2017. REUTERS/Abduljabbar

In a first major breakthrough since the beginning of the Yemeni peace talks in Sweden earlier in December, the country’s warring sides reached a ceasefire agreement that covers the strategic provinces of Taiz and al-Hudaydah.

On December 13, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced the agreement and thanked the Yemeni sides and described the agreement as “an important step” towards “future talks to end the conflict.”

“The war in Yemen has gone on for four years. Four devastating years of suffering for the Yemeni people … Thank you for coming here to discuss a better future for Yemen. And what you achieved is an important step,” the al-Jazeera quoted Guterres as saying.

Saudi Arabia ambassador to Yemen Mohamad Al Jaber, who is attending the peace talks in the Swedish city of Rimbo, revealed that the Houthis will withdraw from the city and port of al-Hudaydah and from their remaining positions in Tazi under the agreement.

“Thousands of captives and prisoners will be also released,” Al Jaber added on Twitter.

Guterres said that the the U.N. will play a key role in the port of al-Hudaydah and will facilitate humanitarian efforts all over Yemen. This indicates that the Saudi-led coalition will not be allowed to enter the key western city.

Head of the Houthis delegation to Sweden Mohamad Abd al-Salam praised the agreement and said that next week will likely witness a similar understanding on the Yemeni capital Saana and its airport.

“We have made very large concessions on al-Hudaydah in order to save the Yemeni People,” Abd al-Salam said during a press conference following the announcement of the initial agreement, according to the al-Mayadeen TV.

Last month, the U.S. stepped up its pressure on Saudi Arabia to push forward with negotiations on the conflict in Yemen in the wake of the murder of Saudi journalist and critic Jamal Khashoggi. Lebanese Hezbollah’s leader had also advised the kingdom to end its war on Yemen in order to find a way out of its current troubles.

From the its own side, the Saudi military has not been able to deliver a devastating blow the to Houthis by military means only. Considering a complicated military and diplomatic situation in which the kingdom’d found itself by the end of 2018, the Saudi leadership may have decided to ease tensions on the southern border of the country.

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  • R Trojson

    Finally some sanity. Let us all pray for an end to this slaughter, death and destruction.

  • So much for the claim by the pro-Saudi hacks that the Houthis were using starvation as a weapon to put political pressure on the Saudis.

    I just hope that that the US / Saudi axis doesn’t betray the agreement and use this as a pretext to occupy the port and deny food to Houthi areas (I kind of suspect this).

    • Pave Way IV

      No need for the UAE/Southern Resistance forces to occupy the port to deny food to Houthi areas, Chris. It’s way more complicated than that. The Saudi-engineered Houthi famine is still allowed despite the agreements in Sweden.

      Saudi Permitting/Inspections

      The Swedish agreement says nothing about the current Saudi control mechanism: its (and Coalition of Evil) armed ships in the Red Sea enforcing the existing Saudi de-facto blockade. It requires that all ships bound for Hodeidah or Saleef 1) obtain Saudi approval first, and 2) be inspected by the Saudis/UNVIM. The Saudis on-again off-again blockade is as simple as delaying either step by weeks at a time, forcing ships to sit at anchor waiting indefinitely and have their perishable cargoes spoil. The Saudis simply deny that they’re delaying permission.

      The ships and cargo owners can always ask the Saudis for permission to reroute to Aden or another southern ‘government controlled’ port to unload instead. Those ports have a limited capacity, and the transportation costs (trucking/fuel) to move the cargo north make it uneconomical to even bother. In the past, some cargo owners have asked the ships to unload in an African port to someone other customer simply to avoid losing money.

      Rump Government Decree 75

      Yemeni importing companies need permits from the rump government, and can only get them if they meet certain conditions. Same for letters of credit from the rump central bank. Those conditions (described by Decree 75) pretty much disqualify almost all the small importers in the north working out of Hodeidah and Saleef. Since the UN and international shippers chose to recognize the rump government as the legitimate one, they are bound to follow its rules. Decree 75 doesn’t say you can’t import through Hodeidah/Saleef – it just makes using any of the importers there illegal.

      Sana’a Road – N3

      The UAE head-chopper mercs biggest recent attack was east of Hodeidah, trying to take more of the N3/Sana’a Road. It’s not clear if the Swedish agreement does anything about their blockade of this highway which may be considered outside of Hodeidah. The Swedish agreement may only stipulate that humanitarian aid must be allowed through. That does little for Sana’a because most people are not starving/dependent on food aid in the city. If no commercial food can get through, then they all WILL be starving. There’s still a roundabout way through a different highway to the north of Hodeidah, but that governorate isn’t part of the cease-fire.

      Government salaries

      No agreement was reached in Sweden about the rump central bank paying government employees ‘in Houthi-held areas’ like the capital, Sana’a. The bureaucrats, hospital employees, teachers and police in Sana’a are government employees, too. They haven’t been paid in months (years in some cases). They make up such a large sector of the economy that it has crashed in the north and black market exchange rates for the Yemeni Rial have plunged – making everything more expensive.

      Summary

      Houthi Final Solution delayed, but still on schedule. A militarily-neutral Hodeidah and ceasefire are nice, but irrelevant regarding food imports. The Saudis will only be happy when 100% of the population in the north is broke and totally dependent on food aid.

      • RichardD

        If the Saudis impede food and other necessary imports, like fuel, in the manner that you describe. Then they’l be the subject of follow up resolutions at the UN correcting these problems.

        • Pave Way IV

          Do you mean by someone like the UN Human Rights Council? I don’t think the Saudis would allow that to happen – they’re a member.

          They got their country removed from the 2016 list of shame (for killing a thousand children in Yemen in 2015). How? By threatening to yank hundreds of millions in UN funding. And it worked. They killed a lot more Yemeni children in 2016 and 2017. Wasn’t that all over the news?

          Surely the UN said something during the 2017 blockade when north Yemen ran out of fuel and couldn’t operate water and sewage plants (the ones that the Saudis didn’t bomb). That caused the largest outbreak of cholera in recorded history on Yemen’s west coast. What was that ‘corrective’ UN resolution back then?

          • RichardD

            No, by the UNGA and UNSC who aren’t beholden to Saudi funding. And with meat clever Mo and his fellow gangsters international piranhas, they’re not going to find a lot of support. Just like the recent unanimous resolution against them by the US Senate:

            “The unanimous vote to hold Mohammed responsible for Khashoggi’s killing reflects the extent to which senators in both parties have grown tired of Trump’s continued defense of Mohammed’s denials. It also puts significant pressure on leaders in the House — where the president’s Saudi policy is far more divisive — to allow for a similar vote to condemn the crown prince before the end of the year.”

            – Senate votes to condemn Saudi crown prince for Khashoggi killing, end support for Yemen war –

            https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/senate-prepares-vote-to-curtail-us-support-for-saudi-led-military-effort-in-yemen/2018/12/13/cf934a96-fed7-11e8-862a-b6a6f3ce8199_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.7742d74e278e

          • Brother Ma

            Suffer MBs and Murdering Dog and stupid Drump for still lying and covering up for MBS.

          • Brother Ma

            UN is toothless whipped old dog. I support its endeavours but it has no mandatory funding so is used as a whore by anyone. For it to be powerful it needs mandatory attacks on whoever misuses it. I know . I am dreaming . Yet Nato should have been “attacked ” in some capacity the moment it it did not heed theUN . Also Israel!

          • RichardD

            There’s a saying in American jurisprudence that the law is like a mule, you have to make it work. The UN is in the same category.

      • Brother Ma

        So why can’t we form an consortium to import food into Hodeidah? I am only half -joking. What is stopping us?

        • Pave Way IV

          Same reason you can’t just send food to Gaza. There are rich/powerful people that don’t want you to do that and will prevent it. They can hire more thugs than you or I can. FUKUS thugs, for instance. I don’t think there’s a problem with global traders willing to send food to Yemen. The problem is with the psychos that want to prevent that.

  • potcracker2588

    LOLOLOL….well then ..trust them satanic evil jews and their slave dogs……
    If the Houthis really retreat from Al-Hudaydah and from Sanaa and Taiz….they are DEAD!!!
    Thats a fact 100%, that they are going to be backstabbed.No doubt in my mind.
    Once the port is in US/saudi hands, no FOOD will be delivered into Houthi areas, 100%….and if they give up Sanaa including airport….no more missiles…..and if they give up Taiz , the hunt will start.

    I still dont believe that the houthis will give them ALL, and in return recieve what? handshake and some smiles?? no just unbelievable…..the only way i see the houthis retreating from the above mentioned areas, is when the houthis can SEE that the UAE and Saudi + mercs leave the country……every other deal seems to be made in a state of delirium on the houthi side.

    • PZIVJ

      “Guterres said that the the U.N. will play a key role in the port of al-Hudaydah and will facilitate humanitarian efforts all over Yemen. This indicates that the Saudi-led coalition will not be allowed to enter the key western city.”

  • occupybacon
  • S Melanson

    Once the Houthi vacate Hodeidah, I wonder how long before the Coalition find an excuse to occupy the port. I am interested in the mechanics of this deal and what safeguards to prevent the Coalition walking in – and the UN is not a safeguard.

    • FlorianGeyer

      Perhaps the White Helmets could be offered by Great Britain to control the Port :)

      Or would that be taking the piss to a new level, even by Perfidious Albion :)

      • Brother Ma

        Haha.

    • Ayauhteotl

      Maybe a Syrian/Iranian/Russian alliance should take over the port and end the trafficking of weapons, money and drugs which caused attacks their countrys.

      Oh, yes. The civilized West would outcry over this step lmao

    • Zionism = EVIL

      The Ansarollah will not be “vacating” Hodeidah as the Zaidi Shia are 95% of the port city’s population, like Hezbollah they will simply blend into the population. Also supplies will start coming in soon.

    • Pave Way IV

      Houti militia have agreed to leave Hodeidah. AnsarAllah is the political movement, not the armed militia. It will still administer Hodeidah officially and manage its affairs.

      There are no safeguards or enforcement for the Swedish agreements – they are suppose to be good-faith efforts by both sides as part of a confidence-building arrangement. Break the deal, then no more confidence necessary by either side. Bullets start flying again – simple as that.

    • Brother Ma

      I don’t trust this UN plan at all. I read about the war in Cyprus and those UN Brit Canadian dogs were up to tricks itching to get control of the main airport to hand it to the Turks on a platter. It nearly happened!.

  • Ayauhteotl

    The deal is not worth the paper on it – as it goes for principles, the saudis have no ones.

  • katakanBR

    i am okay with the houthis withdrawing from the port city, but why would they withdraw from positions in tazi if the UN doesnt come?

    • Pave Way IV

      Not their turf. The siege on Taiz was a left-over from the uprising and Saleh. Now it’s just a grudge thing. Taiz is a shithole of Wahhabi warlords trying to kill each other. The people that live there are powerless against them and they don’t deserve to starve by Houthi hands from the siege. Houthis positions are not in the city itself – they bailed out and went up into the surrounding mountains, but still control the few routes into the city. They mostly just snipe head-choppers in Taiz while the Saudi/US drones look for and occasionally bomb them.