Yemen war: Rivals agree ceasefire in Hodeida

Troops will also be withdrawn from the Red Sea port city, said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

At the end of week-long peace talks in Sweden, Yemen’s foreign minister Khaled al Yamani and rebel negotiator Mohammed Abdelsalam shook hands.

The Saudi-led coalition – which backs the government – has been laying siege to Hodeida for months and blocking aid getting in.

The city has been controlled by Houthi rebels since 2014 and is a lifeline for food deliveries to Yemenis across the country, where the UN says millions face famine because of a blockade.

Mr Guterres told the Yemeni delegations: “You have reached an agreement on Hodeida port and city which will see a mutual redeployment of forces from the port and the city and the establishment of a governorate-wide ceasefire.

“The UN will play a leading role in (the) port” and facilitate aid access for the civilian population.”

He also said that the next round of talks would happen at the end of January.

A prisoner swap involving some 15,000 people was also agreed at the start of the talks, held in the town of Rimbo.

Britain’s foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, was also present on Thursday.

At least 10,000 people have already been killed in the war – though observers believe the number could be much higher – and Save the Children estimates 85,000 children under five may have starved to death.

Saudi Arabia and the coalition it leads first intervened in Yemen in 2015, with the aim of restoring its internationally-recognised government that had been ousted from the capital by Houthi rebels the year before.

They are widely seen as having got involved because of the rebels’ ties to regional rival Iran.

Pressure to end the war has intensified amid dire humanitarian warnings and the Jamal Khashoggi murder, which has focussed attention on Saudi government actions.

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