Yemen warring parties agree to implement new ceasefire: UN

AFP , Ahram Online , Saturday 23 Dec 2023

Yemen’s government and the Houthi rebels have committed to a new ceasefire and agreed to engage in a UN-led peace process to end the war, the UN envoy for Yemen said Saturday.

The Yemeni war has killed tens of thousands of people and has created a dire humanitarian crisis in the country affecting 80 percent of the population. AFP


Following a series of meetings in Saudi Arabia and Oman, a statement by the office of UN Special Envoy Hans Grundberg said he "welcomes the parties' commitment to a set of measures to implement a nation-wide ceasefire... and [to] engage in preparations for the resumption of an inclusive political process."

“Thirty million Yemenis are watching and waiting for this new opportunity to provide for tangible results and progress towards lasting peace. The parties have taken a significant step," said Grundberg.

The envoy "will now engage with the parties to establish a road map under UN auspices that includes these commitments and supports their implementation," the statement added.

According to the latest UN statement, the road map to end the fighting includes commitments to pay civil servants' salaries, open routes into the rebel-blockaded city of Taiz and other parts of Yemen, and resume oil exports.

Earlier, on Thursday, Chairman of the Presidential Leadership Council in Yemen Rashad Al-Alimi expressed guarded hope at the UN General Assembly, saying that peace remains elusive despite compromises by the Yemeni government.

Accordingly, he warned that the international community should avoid “dealing with Houthi militias as de facto authorities,” stressing that this would likely reverse hard-won gains in the war-torn country.

“We hope that the Houthi militias will recognize a singular truth: Only a state that is based on the rule of law and equal citizenship will ensure that our country is stable, safe, and respected in the region” and wider international community, he said. 

“There is a sure path towards peace by rekindling the trust of the Yemeni people in international legitimacy and their national government,” he continued.

“For that, we need to support the legal government, we need to strengthen the economy so that the government can provide services so that we can put an end to the militias and build a brighter future.”

Yemen has been gripped by conflict since the Iran-backed Houthi rebels took control of the capital Sanaa in 2014, triggering a Saudi-led military intervention in support of the beleaguered government the following year.

The ensuing war has killed tens of thousands of people and has created a dire humanitarian crisis in the country affecting 80 percent of the Yemeni population which remains largely reliant on aid.

A UN-brokered ceasefire that took effect in April 2022 brought a sharp reduction in hostilities. The truce expired in October last year, though fighting largely remains on hold.

The commitment to a new ceasefire comes despite the Houthis launching several attacks on Israeli-owned and affiliated ships in the Red Sea, in solidarity with Palestinians in Israel's war on Gaza.

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