The Yemeni government has agreed with the Houthi militia to deploy a joint military force in the western port city of Hudaydah to work along with United Nations observers on preventing infringements of the ceasefire deal reached earlier in Stockholm.
The deal is viewed as a last ditch attempt by the government to rescue the deal which was signed in December 2018.
It stipulated a Houthi pullout from Hudaydah’s ports and handing these ports over to a civilian body.
The Houthi militia had, however, got around the deal by maintaining its military buildup in the city and targeting civilian areas under the control of the legitimate Yemeni government.
The joint forces, which are affiliated to the legitimate government, had surveyed 6,374 violations by the Houthis of the deal in Hudaydah and its countryside since its signing on December 18. A staggering 3,439 civilians and army troops were also killed in the city because of these violations since then.
The military force deployed in Hudaydah in the light of the new agreement between the Houthis and the Yemeni government is made up of Yemeni army and Houthi troops.
The force will be responsible for ensuring the implementation of the Stockholm deal which makes it necessary for the Houthis to pullout of the three ports of Hudaydah.
The force will work closely with United Nations observers in the city. It will work to build confidence between the legitimate Yemeni government and the Houthi militia and also reduce tensions in the Red Sea city.
Yemeni journalist Faisal al-Shubaibi appeared skeptic over the role of the new force.
He said the force will serve the Yemeni people in no way.
“The force was formed only with the aim of giving the United Nations Envoy to Yemen cause for boasting during the next UN briefing on Yemen,” Shubaibi said.
He told The Reference that the Houthis would continue to build up their military presence in Hudaydah.
“They will never abide by the deal unless they are forced too,” Shubaibi said.