The UN Security Council voted on Wednesday to authorize a monitoring mission for the ceasefire in Yemen's key port city of Hodeida for an initial period of six months.

The council unanimously approved the British-drafted resolution, which authorizes the deployment of up to 75 unarmed monitors to the city of Hodeida and its port, as well as the ports of Saleef and Ras Issa.

The resolution builds on authorization by the 15-member council in December to send an advance monitoring team for 30 days.

It establishes a political mission - the United Nations Mission to support the Hodeida Agreement (UNMHA) - based on Secretary General Antonio Guterres's proposals at the end of December on how to keep tabs on the truce.

The text asks Guterres to deploy UNMHA ‘expeditiously.’ The monitoring team will be led by retired Dutch general Patrick Cammaert.

The deal reached in Sweden late last year between the  Houthi rebels and the Yemeni government was seen as a breakthrough in efforts to end Yemen's four-year war.

However, both sides have since accused each other of breaching the ceasefire.

Hodeida, in western Yemen, is of strategic importance because of its port, which is the entry point for some 80 per cent of Yemen's imports and aid.

Yemen, one of the Arab world's poorest countries, has been in the grips of a devastating power struggle between the government and the  rebels since late 2014.

The conflict has led to displacement, food insecurity and outbreaks of cholera and diphtheria across the country as well as damage to the healthcare and education infrastructure.

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