Middle East

Yemeni militants agree to renew existing ceasefire: UN | Conflict News

Yemeni warring parties have agreed to renew the agreement, according to the United Nations. existing truce The UN special envoy said it would take another two months, despite international pressure to extend and expand the agreement.

Yemen’s special envoy Hans Grundberg said in a statement on Tuesday that Yemen’s internationally recognized government and the country’s Houthi rebels had agreed to extend the ceasefire.

“This extension of the armistice includes a commitment by both parties to intensify negotiations to reach an extended armistice as soon as possible,” Grundberg said in a statement.

According to Reuters, the special envoy had taken additional measures and insisted on a six-month truce, but the two sides were unhappy with the implementation of the existing truce, and mistrust persisted.

U.S. and Omani officials were working with parties to support Grundberg’s proposal after U.S. President Joe Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia last month.

The announcement of the renewal came hours after an Omani delegation concluded three days of talks in the Yemeni capital Sanaa with Houthi leaders, including rebel chief Abdul Malek al-Houthis.

UN Special Envoy Hans Grundberg [File: Alaa Mohammad/AFP]

Mohammed Abdel Salam, the Houthis’s chief negotiator and spokesman, said on Twitter that the talks will focus on “strengthening the possibility of ending war and lifting the blockade” imposed by the Saudi-led coalition. said it is.

The ceasefire initially entered into force on 2 April and was extended to 2 June, but accusations were exchanged on both sides of violating the ceasefire and failing to lift the Houthis’ long-standing blockade of the city of Taiz.

On Sunday, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken met with the head of the president’s office, Rashad Al-Alimi, to press for a renewal of the ceasefire.

He said the ceasefire “provides the best chance for years of peace, and it must not be missed.”

The ceasefire was the first nationwide ceasefire in the past six years in a conflict that has turned into a proxy war between regional enemies Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Yemen’s civil war erupted in 2014, when the Houthis surrendered from their northern enclave and took the capital, forcing the government to flee south before defecting to Saudi Arabia.

A Saudi-led coalition entered the war in early 2015 to try to bring the government back to power.

The conflict has killed tens of thousands and left millions hungry.

Calls for ‘permanent peace’

More than two-thirds of Yemen’s 30 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, UN officials said last month, pushing the country to the brink of famine.

Under the ceasefire, commercial flights from the rebel-held capital Sanaa to Jordan and Egypt have resumed, allowing oil tankers to dock at the lifeline port of Hodeida, also in Houthi hands.

The ceasefire extension was hailed Tuesday by aid agencies working to help affected person by conflict.

“Millions of Yemenis are suffering from high food prices, lack of health and other essential services and diminishing economic opportunities,” said Abdulwaseah Mohammed of aid agency Oxfam. Now is the time for all parties and the international community to work towards a lasting and inclusive peace that guarantees the life, dignity and freedom of the people of Yemen.”

On Monday, 30 aid agencies operating in Yemen said “reports of civilian casualties have dropped significantly” since the ceasefire first took effect on 2 April.

Aid groups, including Yemeni and international organizations, urged “all parties to the conflict to adhere to and extend agreements to protect civilians” across the country.

But Erin Hutchinson, Yemen’s representative to the Norwegian Refugee Council, cautioned.

“After seeing swift and decisive action towards a successful ceasefire in the first few months, progress towards meeting all its elements has slowed.” Hutchinson said in a statement. “This two-month extension will reopen roads connecting cities and regions, allow more displaced people to return home safely, and ensure humanitarian assistance to those who have long been out of reach. I hope that it will reach the .Hostility.”

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/8/2/yemens-warring-sides-agree-to-renew-existing-truce-un Yemeni militants agree to renew existing ceasefire: UN | Conflict News

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