Warring sides in Yemen reached three agreements limiting hostilities following UN-sponsored negotiations in Sweden on Thursday, December 13. Delegations from the Houthi rebels and the Saudi-backed government agreed to cease fire and demobilize around the port and city of Al-Hudaydah, establish humanitarian corridors for aid shipments to Ta'iz, and exchange 15,000 prisoners. The ceasefire for Al-Hudaydah is effective immediately and the UN will oversee a withdrawal of forces from the port and the city over the next 21 days. There remains a possibility that fighting in Al-Hudaydah may resume if the sides disagree on how to enforce the agreements or dispute the definitions set therein. However, the agreements will likely bring a reduction in violence in the immediate future.
Yemen is engaged in a complex and deadly conflict, ongoing since Houthi rebels entered into a civil war with the Yemeni government, supported by a Saudi-led coalition, in 2015. The Saudi-led coalition has carried out thousands of airstrikes in Yemen since its intervention began. Hundreds of Yemeni civilians have been killed in the strikes, which have hit schools, hospitals, and markets, in addition to Houthi militant positions and personnel. In total, more than 10,000 Yemenis have died in the fighting and some 3 million have been displaced.
Due to poor security conditions, many Western governments advise their citizens against all travel to Yemen. Travel to the country should only be considered with proper security protocols in place. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
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