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Yemen government and Houthi rebels establish joint observation posts in Hodeidah

Yemeni government troops and the Houthi rebel forces have established observation posts in the key port city of Hodeidah, the United Nations said in a statement.

Four posts have been established along the Hodeidah city front lines in the past four days, finalized written agreements and deployed liaison officers, Abhijit Guha, head of the U.N. Mission to Support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA) said in a Tuesday, October 22 statement.

Guha observed the process on the ground, the statement said.

The posts are “designed to facilitate direct inter-party de-escalation in flash point areas seen as susceptible to conflict,” it said.

Yemen’s warring parties agreed to the observation posts as part of a deal reached in Sweden last year that also called for a ceasefire and replacement of troops, but implementing the agreement has been slow.

Hodeidah has been at the center of of the conflict between the Yemeni government of Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi and Houthi rebels since war broke out in 2015. The port city is a critical lifeline for aid deliveries into poverty-stricken Yemen during a conflict the U.N. has called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

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