UN announces 72 hour truce for Yemen
United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed announced a 72-hour ceasefire in Yemen, which is due to start on Wednesday night as he received commitments from all of the country’s warring factions.
In his statement UN special envoy for Yemen informed that ceasefire would begin at 2359 local time (2059 GMT) on Wednesday and could be renewed after the initial three-day period.
“The Special Envoy welcomes the restoration of the Cessation of Hostilities, which will spare the Yemeni people further bloodshed and will allow for the expanded delivery of humanitarian assistance,” the statement said.
On Monday, Yemen Foreign Minister Abdel-Malek al-Mekhlafi announced on his official twitter account that President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi had agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire with the possibility of it being extended. However the President has put forward some conditions viz. other parties adhere to ceasefire, activates the De-escalation and Coordination Committee (DCC) and lifts the siege of Taiz, he added. In a report of Al Jazeera, it claimed that Yemen government also put forward the condition that the Iran-backed Houthi rebels allow aid to reach the besieged city of Taiz.
The DCC is a military commission backed by United Nations to oversee ceasefires in Yemen.
However, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir is skeptical about peace efforts after previous ceasefire attempts failed, the reports said. Saudi Arabia and several Gulf Arab allies have carried out air strikes and deployed troops in Yemen in support of Hadi’s government since March 2015.
This comes after the Saudi-led coalition struck a funeral procession in Yemen’s capital Sanaa on October 9, which left more than 140 people dead. Sanaa had been captured by Houthis in 2014, and since then Yemen faces unrest.
The Iranian-aligned Houthis and their allies are loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh and hold Yemen’s northern half, while forces loyal to the Saudi-backed Hadi control the rest of the country with local tribes.
More than 10,000 people, including 3,800 civilians have died and three million have been displaced in Yemen since the civil war, United Nations report says.