SANAA, May 10 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations said on Friday that Yemen's Houthi rebels have agreed to unilaterally redeploy forces out of three key ports in the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah within four days beginning Saturday.
The UN Mission to Support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA) "will monitor and report on this unilateral redeployment, due to begin on Saturday, and be completed by Tuesday," said Michael Lollesgaard, head of the team of UN observers and monitors, in a UN statement.
This was "a first practical step on the ground" since the agreement reached between Yemeni warring parties in Stockholm in December 2018, Lollesgaard noted.
The Stockholm deal was considered the first breakthrough in the civil conflict in Yemen for the past four years.
According to the statement, the Houthi rebels agreed to withdraw from the Hodeidah main port, and the ports of Salif, which is used for importing grains, and Ras Issa, which is used for exporting crude oil.
"This unilateral redeployment should allow for establishing a UN-led role in supporting the Red Sea Ports Corporation in managing the ports, as well as for enhancing the UN Verification and Inspection Mechanism (UNVIM) in accordance with the Agreement," Lollesgaard added.
The statement gave no details on any government reaction in return.
The Stockholm Agreement, the first step toward a comprehensive political solution, focused on the port city of Hodeidah, the lifeline for Yemen's most commercial imports and humanitarian aid.
Both warring parties have largely obeyed the cease-fire deal, but failed to withdraw forces from the city.
Hodeidah has been the focus of clashes since 2017.
The government forces, backed by the Saudi-led coalition, have advanced to the southern outskirts of the port city, but the forces have halted a major offensive to recapture Hodeidah since June 2017 to pave the way for peace efforts.
The Saudi-led military coalition intervened in Yemen's war in March 2015 to support internationally-recognized President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi after Houthi rebels forced him into exile and seized much of the country's north, including the capital Sanaa.