Yemeni combatants agree on first stage of pullback from key port of Hodeida

The Japan Times 

CAIRO - Yemen's government and the Houthi rebels have agreed on the first stage of a mutual pullout of forces from the port city of Hodeida, a key entry point for humanitarian aid, the United Nations said. A U.N. statement late Sunday said the agreement came after two days of meetings in Hodeida. The warring parties agreed to a cease-fire in the city and a prisoner exchange during talks held in Sweden in December, but the implementation of both has been stalled. The statement said both sides "made important progress on planning for the redeployment of forces as envisaged in the Hodeida agreement." Yemen's government has been battling the rebels since 2014, when the Houthis swept down from the north and seized the capital, Sanaa.