How Yemeni rivals failed to agree on Hodeida revenues

Amman (Debriefer)
2019-05-17 | Since 3 Month

Yemeni talks in Sweden, file

اضغط هنا لقراءة الخبر بالعربية

Meetings between Yemeni rivals on Hodeida economic issue have failed to conclude in a deal, informed sources told Debriefer, after three days of UN-sponsored discussions that ended Thursday in the Jordanian capital, Amman.

Neither the government nor the Houthi negotiators has been prepared to make concessions, sources added. "This was the main cause behind failure of the talks," which were attended by the UN Envoy Martin Griffiths.

"The meetings came to impasse, with both teams blaming each other for failing to reach any accord.

"While the government team insisted that all revenues of Hodeida and its ports be deposited into Hodeida branch of the Aden-based Central Bank of Yemen (CBY), Houthi team clang to the larger portion of the returns be transferred to the Sana'a-based CBY," said the sources.

The UN Amman-based Envy Office has stated that Yemeni parties ended Thursday meetings on Hodeida economic aspects, with the presence of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and UN Development Program.

"The parties held candid and constructive discussions and also engaged with the other participants on proposals to implement the economic provisions of the Hodeida Agreement,"said the Office in a statement carried by their website. The Office "will continue to engage with the parties to further these discussions and advance the implementation of the agreement." But it has not talked about any pact.

A senior negotiator of the official government has accused Houthi team of reneging their obligations as to the economic provisions stated in the Stockholm Agreement.

"Houthi team has been divided," the negotiator told Debriefer, while talks underway, on condition of anonymity for not authorized to brief media. "Internal disagreement led their team leader, Mohamed al-Sayani, to leave the meeting room."

The government official accused the UN envoy of sticking to "his unfair approach in dealing with Houthi futile positions and evasion from any biding deals. This approach has been behind the prolonged crisis in Yemen."

Last week, Houthi group threatened of painful escalating steps in retaliation to the Aden-based CBY measures.

The Houthi-run economic commission has "deliberated response options in economic courses and sent them to political leadership," said a source at the commission last Monday, "pending directives to take gravely annoying steps should Jordan economic talks fail."

Yemen has been racked by a 4-year bloody conflictbetween the internationally-recognized Yemeni government's forces, backed by a Saudi-led coalition, and the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels who ousted the government in 2014.

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.

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