Yemen’s Houthi rebels began on Saturday a long-delayed withdrawal of their forces from the key port city of Hodeida, the group said, following the terms of a cease-fire. The U.N.-brokered agreement is aimed at alleviating the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, the head of the rebels’ Supreme Revolutionary Committee, said the pullout from Hodeida, as well as the two smaller ports of Salif and Ras Issa, started at 10 a.m. (0700 GMT). Sadek Dawad, a government negotiator, said that he welcomed the “first step of the first phase of redeployment” of rebel forces in the area. He urged the U.N. to verify and watch the pullout. He also called for the removal of land mines laid by the Houthis. The Houthi-run al-Masirah TV channel said U.N. observers are monitoring the forces’ withdrawal. Hodeida is the main international entry point for 70 percent of imports and humanitarian aid to Yemen, where the four-year civil war has killed an estimated 60,000 people and pushed much of the country to the brink of famine. Nearly two thirds of Yemenis are in need of some sort of aid and 3 million displaced. Thousands have died of malnutrition, preventable diseases and epidemics. A… Read full this story
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