Yemen situation fragile, despite humanitarian negotiations: UN spokesman

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The situation in Yemen, despite talks aboard a ship in the Port of Hodeidah, was described by the chief UN spokesman on Monday as fragile.

Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman, said the chairman of the ship-board talks, retired Dutch Gen. Patrick Cammaert, sent a message underscoring "the fragility of the situation and the need to see progress."

A technical session of prisoner-swap negotiations is set for Tuesday in Amman.

The spokesman called the Re-deployment Coordination Committee (RCC) negotiations on a ship -- he refused to identify -- berthed in the port as "a very creative solution" by Cammaert to get the two sides in proximity to each other at a secure site.

Sunday's session was the third day of the negotiations chaired by Cammaert over where opposing troops would be stationed during a shaky cease-fire near the port.

"Both parties have reiterated their commitment to implementing the Hodeidah aspects of the Stockholm Agreement, and in particular, underscored their commitment to finding a solution that would open up the Hodeidah-Sanaa road to allow humanitarian access to the Red Sea Mills," Dujarric said, referring to a crucial grain storage area in the port.

"We have a kernel, in a sense, of a cease-fire in a specific area in Yemen," the spokesman told reporters at a regular briefing. "We need to secure that and build on that and move forward."

On Tuesday, "The Supervisory Committee on the implementation of the prisoner exchange agreement is scheduled to reconvene in Amman," Dujarric said.

The committee includes representatives of the Government of Yemen and Ansar Allah and is co-chaired by the Office of the UN Special Envoy, Martin Griffiths, and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Ansar Allah is the formal name of the rebel group known as the Houthis.

The spokesman said Griffiths and ICRC President Peter Maurer are scheduled to take part in the first day of the Supervisory Committee meetings. This round of technical meetings will discuss "the steps taken by the two parties to finalize the lists of prisoners to advance the implementation of the agreement."

Dujarric said that "During this round of technical meetings, the Supervisory Committee will discuss the steps taken by the two parties to finalize the lists of prisoners to advance the implementation of the agreement." 

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