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13 May 2019 Houthi withdrawal from three Yemen ports hints at the beginning of a ceasefire

On Saturday 11 May, Houthis began the “long-delayed pull out of their forces from the key port of Hodeidah, as well as the two smaller ports of Saleef and Ras Isa” as part of a ceasefire deal reached in Sweden in December 2018, reported Al-Jazeera.  The United Nations announced that the withdrawal went “in accordance with established plans” defined by the Stockholm accord and that the Houthi move is seen as a first step towards ending the civil war that erupted in 2014. The next few days will focus on “removal of military manifestations and de-mining”, the UN statement said. However, Yemen’s Information Minister, member of the internationally recognized government, claimed the Houthi militia were faking the pull-out. Farea al-Muslimi, a visiting fellow at the London-based think-tank Chatham House told the AFP news agency that “the next two weeks will show if this is a handover or yet another hangover.”