Politics

Houthi violations undermine Stockholm Agreement: analysts

By Nabil Abdullah al-Tamimi in Aden

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Yemeni men affiliated with the Iran-backed Houthis (Ansarallah) stand with Kalashnikov assault rifles during a tribal meeting in the Houthi-held Sanaa on September 21st. [Mohammed Huwais/AFP]

The Houthis have committed repeated violations of a landmark ceasefire deal sponsored by the UN last year, in a sign that they seek to serve Iran's interests at the expense of peace for Yemen and its people, experts told Al-Mashareq.

The Stockholm Agreement, signed December 13th between the Houthis (Ansarallah) and Yemen's legitimate government stipulated for a ceasefire in al-Hodeidah and the mutual redeployment of forces from the city and the ports of Salif, Ras Issa and al-Hodeidah within 21 days.

Per the agreement, both sides were to release about 16,000 prisoners of war.

Since its signing, the Houthis have committed some 12,000 breaches of the agreement, experts told Al-Mashareq in November.

In their latest violations, the Houthis on Tuesday (December 10th) targeted army positions with mortars in al-Jabaliya in al-Tuhayat directorate.

The militia bombed al-Jah in Bayt al-Faqih district, south of the province, with heavy artillery.

The Houthis also aimed firepower at residential neighbourhoods in Hays district, causing panic among the civilian population.

'Houthis do not seek peace'

Commenting on the implementation of the Stockholm Agreement one year after it was signed, General People's Congress (GPC) general committee member Adel al-Shujaa, said the Houthis "do whatever [Iran] orders them to do, and therefore won't commit to permanent peace unless they are militarily defeated".

The Houthis have benefited from the agreement and the ceasefire to resume their military activities, especially after fighting on other fronts stopped, which enabled them to move most of their fighters to al-Hodeidah, he told Al-Mashareq.

The Houthis have undermined the Stockholm Agreement with their repeated violations, said political analyst Faisal Ahmed, citing a recent Houthi attack on a Yemeni government team operating as part of the UN-chaired Redeployment Co-ordination Committee in al-Hodeidah.

The Houthis attacked the team's headquarters in the port city with a barrage of missiles and drones on November 28th.

Arab coalition forces were able to intercept and destroy three ballistic missiles and five drones used by the militia.

The Houthis' interpretation of the agreement's provisions serves their own interest which aligns with that of Iran "without any regard to the suffering of the people of al-Hodeidah", Ahmed told Al-Mashareq.

"The way the Houthis have so far dealt with the Stockholm Agreement indicates they are not serious about establishing peace in Yemen," he added.

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