Yemen’s Foreign Minister Hisham Sharaf Abdullah says the United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) blatantly ignore the provisions of a ceasefire agreement reached between the warring Yemeni sides during a round of UN-sponsored negotiations in Sweden in December 2018, stressing that peace needs effective confidence-building measures so it can prevail.
During a meeting with Deputy Head of the United Nations Mission to Support the Hudaydah Agreement (UNMHA) Daniela Crosslake in the Yemeni capital Sana’a on Monday, Abdullah said that the Riyadh regime and its allies breach the UN-brokered truce for Yemen’s western coastal province of Hudaydah on a daily basis, Yemen’s al-Masirah television network reported.
He said dozens of tankers with tons of oil derivatives are held up off the coast of Yemen for different lengths of time in flagrant violation of the international agreement.
The top Yemeni diplomat added the path to peace requires courageous and practical confidence-building measures represented by entirely humanitarian steps.
He said those measures should include the unhindered docking of Yemen-bound vessels carrying petroleum products and natural gas, the reopening of Sana'a airport and unfreezing of assets.
Crosslake, for her part, stated that the UNMHA continues to perform its duties and is keen on the continuation of the work of the Redeployment Coordination Committee, in accordance with the Hudaydah truce.
Delegates from the Ansarullah movement and representatives loyal to former Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi attended the peace negotiations in Rimbo on the outskirts of Stockholm in December 2018. The talks resulted in the announcement of a breakthrough agreement.
The document included three provisions: a ceasefire along the Hudaydah front and the redeployment of armed forces out of the city and its port; an agreement on prisoner exchange; and a statement of understanding on the southern Yemeni city of Ta’izz.
Yemeni warring sides swap prisoners
Meanwhile, Abdul-Qader al-Murtaza, chairman of the Committee for Prisoners' Affairs, said that Yemen’s warring parties had exchanged dozens of prisoners through local mediation.
He added 22 Yemeni army soldiers and fighters from the Popular Committees, who were being held in detention centers run by the Saudi-led coalition, were freed as a result.
Saudi Arabia, backed by the US and other regional allies, launched a devastating war on Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing Hadi’s government back to power and crushing Ansarullah.
Yemeni armed forces and allied Popular Committees have, however, gone from strength to strength against the Saudi-led invaders, and left Riyadh and its allies bogged down in the country.
The Saudi-led military aggression has left hundreds of thousands of Yemenis dead, and displaced millions of people. It has also destroyed Yemen's infrastructure and spread famine and infectious diseases across the country.