Yemen ceasefire goes into effect in strategic port city

Sanaa: A ceasefire between Yemen’s warring parties went into effect at midnight on Tuesday in the strategic port city of Hodeidah.

The ceasefire was reached on December 13 in Stockholm after a round of UN-sponsored talks — the first direct talks in more than two years between representatives of Yemen’s internationally recognised government, which Saudi Arabia supports, and the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, reports CNN.

The agreement stipulated an immediate ceasefire in Hodeidah, the besieged rebel-held port city which is an entry point for 70 per cent of foreign humanitarian aid into the country,

The UN has described Hodeidah as a “lifeline” for Yemen’s war-ravaged population.

The agreement also includes mutual withdrawal of military manifestations from the city, redeployment of local forces and deployment of UN monitors for the ports.

“We welcome the announcement of the ceasefire announced by the UN envoy this night, which will take effect shortly, and we affirm that peace is the first option since the very first moment,” Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, head of the Supreme Revolutionary Committee of the Iranian-backed Houthi militias, said on Twitter.

International pressure intensified for a ceasefire as the humanitarian crisis worsens in Yemen after more than three years of war, CNN said.

The war in Yemen has devastated the country, leading to extreme starvation, especially among the country’s children.