Tue, 22 Jan 2019
18
Washington

Warring sides in Yemen's conflict have agreed to a cease-fire for the key port city of Hudaydah.

The delegations from the Yemeni government and the Shi'ite Huthi rebels reached agreement on December 13 at the end of UN-brokered talks in Sweden aimed at ending nearly four years of civil war.

The Red Sea port city of Hudaydah is the main lifeline for two-thirds of the country, and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said the cease-fire was crucial to getting aid to millions of Yemenis.

The agreement will see 'a mutual redeployment of forces from the port and the city and the establishment of a governorate-wide cease-fire,' Guterres said.

'The UN will play a leading role in the port and this will facilitate the humanitarian access and the flow of goods to the civilian population. And it will improve the living conditions for millions of Yemenis,' he added.

The agreement could 'be a starting point for peace and for ending [the] humanitarian crisis in Yemen,' the UN chief also said.

The Yemeni government, which is supported by Saudi Arabia and its military allies, has been battling the Iran-backed Huthi rebels for nearly four years.

Civilians have borne the brunt of the conflict, which has killed over 10,000 people and created what the United Nations has called the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

Based on reporting by the BBC

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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