The United Nations said on Sunday that the first days of the withdrawal of Houthi forces from three main ports in the Red Sea province of Hodeida "proceeding as planned" despite doubts voiced by the Yemen's internationally recognized government.
Lt. Gen. Michael Lollesgaard, head of the U.N.'s Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC), said in statement that
a withdrawal of forces by Yemen's Houthi movement from three of Yemen's Red Sea ports went "in accordance with established plans" on the first day.
He added: "All three ports were monitored simultaneously by United Nations teams as the military forces left the ports and the Coast Guard took over responsibility for security."
The Houthi group announced on Saturday the start of the "unilateral withdrawal" and said it came as a result of the refusal of pro-government forces "backed by the Arab coalition to implement the Stockholm agreement.
The Yemeni "legitimate" government accused the Houthi group on Saturday night to continue "manipulation", and talked about the "repetition" of handing over ports, and said that the Houthis handed over security to their elements dressed in civilian clothes.
The United Nations Mission in Hodeida said that the Yemen's internationally recognized government has committed to implement its part of the first phase of the withdrawal plan "when requested".
He pointed out that "Activities in the following days are expected to focus on "removal of military manifestations and de-mining,".
According to the UN statement it would formally access the first redeployment at the three ports on Tuesday, May 14.
Lollesgaard stressed that the withdrawal of Houthis from the ports should be viewed as "the first part of the agreed concept for phase 1 of the broader redeployments in Hodeida, in accordance with the Stockholm Agreement."
The UN is exerting efforts to end the fierce war between the Saudi-backedYemeni government and the Iran-backed Houthi.
Parties to the 4-year war in Yemen, after 8-day peace talks in Sweden, reached on the 13th of last December an agreement providing for ceasefire in Hodeida and redeployment of both sides' forces, exchanging prisoners and alleviating blockade imposed by Houthis on Taiz.
But none of this has taken place so far, with both sides trading blames for trying to thwart the deal.
The Red Sea city of Hodeida and its ports have been under Houthi control since late 2014, while Yemeni joint forces loyal to legitimate government and Arab coalition have massed at the city's fringes since last November seeking to retake the strategic port.
The conflict has triggeredwhat the UN calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with most of the population in need for a type of humanitarian aid and immediate protection, including 14 million people risking famine and some 1.8 million children suffering malnutrition.