‘Uneasy calm’ in Hodeidah city as combatants await UN truce team

Hodeidah: An uneasy calm returned to the battleground Yemeni city of Hodeidah on Thursday after further overnight skirmishes as the warring parties await the promised deployment of UN staff to oversee a hard-won but fragile truce.
The ceasefire in the Red Sea port city which is a vital aid lifeline for millions at risk of starvation is the centrepiece of a peace push that is seen as the best chance yet of ending four years of devastating conflict.
Military officials and residents have reported intermittent fighting between government forces and Ansar Allah fighters since the UN-brokered ceasefire came into effect in the Red Sea port city on Tuesday. A pro-government official said that four loyalists were wounded in a firefight on Wednesday night.
“The exchange of fire lasted for about half an hour, and there is an uneasy calm this morning,” he said.
Residents reached by telephone confirmed that there was no fighting on Thursday morning.
The official added there has been intermittent fighting on a number of battlefronts in Hodeidah province, including the districts of Hays and Al Tuhayta.
Pro-government forces and Ansar Allah fighters accused each other on Thursday of breaching the ceasefire agreed at talks in Sweden earlier this month.
The rebel-run Saba news agency said loyalists targeted a “number of neighbourhoods in the city” overnight.
UN observers are due in Yemen to head up monitoring teams made up of government and rebel representatives tasked with overseeing the implementation of the UN-brokered ceasefire, under the auspices of a Redeployment Coordination Committee.
 — AFP