UN confirms Hodeidah truce is holding

The UN has been monitoring the Houthi pullout from Hodeidah. (File/AFP)
Updated 15 May 2019
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UN confirms Hodeidah truce is holding

  • “There is still a lot of work to be done … but cooperation has been very good," says head of the UN observer team

HODEIDAH: The Houthis in Yemen have handed over security of key Red Sea ports to the coast guard but work remains to remove military equipment, the UN said on Tuesday.

The Iran-backed militia’s withdrawal is part of a hard-won truce agreement in Sweden in December between the Houthis and the legitimate government, supported by a Saudi-led coalition.

The UN has been monitoring the Houthi pullout from Hodeidah, Saleef and Ras Isa ports and a UN team was there on Tuesday to verify the redeployment. 

Its head, Gen. Michael Lollesgaard, welcomed the handover “of the security of the ports to the coast guard,” the UN said. 

“There is still a lot of work to be done … but cooperation has been very good.

“UN teams will continue to monitor these initial steps in an impartial and transparent manner.”

Hodeidah port is a lifeline for the import of food, medicines and other vital humanitarian supplies for millions in Yemen, but the Houthis also use it to smuggle arms and ammunition from Iran.


Sudan's top opposition rejects strike call in protest rift

Updated 26 May 2019
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Sudan's top opposition rejects strike call in protest rift

KHARTOUM: Sudan's main opposition group and supporter of the protest movement on Sunday rejected its call to stage a two-day general strike, in the first sign of a rift within the movement negotiating the launch of civilian rule.
Talks between leaders of the umbrella protest movement, the Alliance for Freedom and Change, and army generals who seized power after ousting autocrat Omar Al-Bashir last month are deadlocked over who should lead a new governing body - a civilian or soldier.
In a bid to step up pressure on the generals, the protest movement has called for a general strike starting Tuesday, but the National Umma Party, a key backer of the movement, rejected the measure.
"We reject the general strike announced by some opposition groups" in the Alliance for Freedom and Change, the National Umma Party said in a statement.
"A general strike is a weapon that should be used after it is agreed upon by everybody," Umma said.
"We have to avoid such escalated measures that are not fully agreed."
The National Umma Party led by former premier Sadiq Al-Mahdi said any such decision should be taken by a council of leaders of the protest movement.
Such a council was still not in place and "will be composed in a meeting on Monday", it said.
It was Mahdi's elected government that Bashir, who himself was deposed on April 11, toppled in a coup in 1989.
In a recent interview with AFP, Mahdi warned protesters not to "provoke" the army's rulers as they had been instrumental in ousting Bashir.