Yemen’s Houthi militia refuses UN envoy’s proposal to open Taiz roads

Ahram Online , Sunday 26 Jun 2022

Yemen’s Houthi militia refused a proposal made by the UN Envoy to Yemen Hans Grundberg to open the Taiz crossings and other roads, calling into question the country’s recently renewed UN-brokered truce, Al-Arabiya reported on Sunday.

People walk on an empty street in the city of Taiz, Yemen on May 15, 2022. Reuters


An anonymous informed source said that Houthi’s response was negative and returned the negotiations to square one, according to Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

He also said that the team representing the legitimate government received a letter from the UN envoy late Thursday evening, informing them of the Houthi’s response to the proposal.

Details of the proposal

Grundberg’s proposal called for opening the three routes into Taiz presented by the Houthis during negotiations that were held in the Jordanian capital of Amman, as well as one road proposed by the team from the legitimate government of Yemen, in addition to another road between the Dhale and Ibb governorates.

Two rounds of negotiations over the issue took place in Amman before the UN envoy travelled to Sanaa to deliver his proposal to the Houthis.

After the proposal was rejected by the Houthis, the government team is now preparing a response expected to be announced soon.

Yemeni Foreign Minister Ahmed Awad Bin Mubarak warned of the stubbornness of the Houthis and their insistence on continuing the siege on Taiz, saying it is a dilemma in the face of the UN-led political process.

Yemen’s truce, which began in early April and was extended until the beginning of August, includes four items: a comprehensive ceasefire, the entry of 18 fuel-carrying ships to Hodeida ports, allowing two air flights to and from Sanaa every week, in addition to opening the roads in Taiz and other governorates to improve the freedom of movement of people in Yemen.

While progress on the first three items has been made, the openings of roads remains a sticking point.

Surrounded by mountains, Taiz, which has around 600,000 inhabitants, has been almost cut off from the outside world since 2015.

The truce has led to a reduction in fighting and in civilian casualties, as well as the resumption of commercial flights from Sanaa and better humanitarian access in the country.

Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the world, has been devastated by almost eight years of war between the Iran-backed Houthi rebels and government forces supported since 2015 by a coalition led by neighboring Saudi Arabia.

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