UN says Yemen's warring parties agree to renew truce

AP , Thursday 2 Jun 2022

The United Nations said Thursday that Yemen's warring parties have agreed to renew a nationwide truce for another two months, a rare spot of good news for a country plagued by eight years of war.

A general view of the city of Sanaa, Yemen April 7, 2022. (Reuters)


``I commend the parties for taking these steps, and for agreeing to extend the truce,`` U.N. Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg said in a statement. ``The truce represents a significant shift in the trajectory of the war and has been achieved through responsible and courageous decision making by the parties.''

The ceasefire between Yemen's internationally recognized government and the Houthi rebels first came into effect on April 2 _ the first nationwide cease-fire in the past six years of Yemen's civil war.

The announcement, which is the outcome of UN continuous and concerted efforts, came only few hours before the original truce was set to expire later on Thursday.

Grundberg vowed that he will continue to mediate talks between the warring parties to ensure the consolidation of the new truce, and to eventually reach a political settlement to end the conflict.

The fighting erupted in 2014 when Iran-backed Houthi rebels descended from their northern enclave and took over the capital of Sanaa, forcing the internationally recognized government to flee. A Saudi-led coalition entered the war in early 2015 to try to restore the government to power.

The provisions of the original truce included reopening the roads around Taiz, establishing two commercial flights a week between Sanaa and Jordan and Egypt, and also allowing 18 vessels carrying fuel into the port of Hodeida. Both Sanaa and Hodeida are controlled by the rebels.

Fighting, airstrikes and bombardment have subsided during the truce, which started in early April, and the rebels have ceased their cross-border attacks on Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the two pillars of the Saudi-led coalition.

Yemen's war has killed over 150,000 people, including over 14,500 civilians. It has created now one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world.

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