Yemen ceasefire monitors to deploy within 24 hours: UN

Yemeni pro-government forces in the port city of Hodeida before the start of ceasefire. — AFP

Dubai — A team including members of the government will be dispatched within a day to monitor a truce deal in Hodeida city, a United Nations official said Tuesday.

"The Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC) is expected to start its work within the next 24 hours," the official, who requested anonymity, told AFP.

The observers are due to oversee the implementation of the truce, the withdrawal of warring parties from Hodeida city and the pullout of Houthis from its major ports.

The committee chair is expected to report to the UN Security Council on a weekly basis.

The ceasefire was meant to enter into force at midnight on Monday but clashes continued until 03:00 am (1200 GMT), pro-government sources and residents said.

Calm held on Tuesday morning in Hodeida city, whose Red Sea port is the gateway for the vast majority of imports to Yemen.

"There has been complete calm since 03:00 am Yemen time (1200 GMT) in the city of Hodeida," a military source loyal to the government told AFP on Tuesday.

UN envoy Martin Griffiths said on Sunday that the UN was working with both sides to ensure the ceasefire accord was "implemented timely and properly".

A prisoner swap involving some 15,000 detainees is planned and a "mutual understanding" was reached to facilitate aid deliveries to Yemen's third city Taiz.

The two sides also agreed to meet again in late January for more talks to define the framework for negotiations on a comprehensive peace settlement.

Ahead of the ceasefire coming into force, residents in Hodeida city hoped Monday that it would lead to lasting peace.

Mohammed Al-Saikel said he was optimistic the ceasefire would pave the way for a broader truce.

"We are hopeful about this ceasefire in Hodeida and one for Yemen in general," he said.

"We will reach out in peace to whoever does the same." — AFP