UNITED NATIONS, April 15 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths said on Monday that the warring parties in Yemen had finally accepted the terms for a redeployment of forces in the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah.
"Both parties have now accepted the detailed redeployment plan for phase one," Griffiths told the UN Security Council via video link from Amman, adding that "it has taken longer than we hoped, but we are grateful that it has happened at all."
The redeployment of forces was agreed in December last year under a ceasefire deal reached in Stockholm of Sweden that offered the best hope in years of moving toward an end to the war.
"I am grateful to both parties for the constructive engagement which has allowed us to reach this point," Griffiths said.
"We will now move with all speed towards resolving the final outstanding issues related to phase two and the status of local security forces," he added.
Griffiths said he had received assurances from Houthi leader Abdul Malik al Houthi when they met in Sanaa last week that his forces would support the Hodeidah agreement, but Griffiths expressed a sense of caution as many delays had occurred.
"Making this happen is not an easy decision for the parties to take," he said.
When he last addressed the Security Council members in consultations on March 13, Griffiths said that if the impasse continued, he might organize a "political" meeting of the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC), which would include General Michael Lollesgaard of RCC and RCC representatives, the special envoy and the political leaders of the two warring sides.
Yemen has been mired in a civil war since late 2014 when the Houthi rebels overtook the capital Sanaa and ousted the government of President Abd-Rabbuh Mansour Hadi. A Saudi-led coalition has been fighting the Houthis since 2015. The war has killed more than 10,000 people and created a serious humanitarian crisis.