Houthis accept five-day ceasefire

Saudi Arabia’s five-day ceasefire proposal accepted by Houthis starting on Tuesday

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Iran-backed Houthis agreed on a five-day humanitarian ceasefire which was proposed by Saudi Arabia and is planned to start in Yemen on Tuesday.

The ceasefire was announced by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir during a joint press conference with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry after talks in Paris on Friday.

"We have made a decision that the ceasefire will begin this Tuesday, May 12, at 11.00 pm and will last for five days subject to renewal if it works out," Al Jubeir said.

"The ceasefire will end should Houthis or their allies not live up to the agreement, this is a chance for the Houthis to show that they care about their people and they care about the Yemeni people," al-Jubeir added.

“A cease-fire does not mean peace,” US Secretary of State John Kerry added, urging all parties in Yemen to return to the negotiating table to reach a political solution in order to end the conflict, which has claimed at least 646 civilian lives according to the United Nations data.

A Houthi spokesperson told Reuters that "positively with any efforts to lift the suffering of the Yemeni people, a sign that they would accept the ceasefire.”

Houthi fighters warned Saudi Arabia they would respond to any violations.

"Any military violation of the ceasefire from al Qaeda and those who stand with it and support it and fund it will be responded to by the army and security and the popular committees," Colonel Sharaf Luqman, spokesperson for the Houthi-allied army, said in a statement published by Saba news agency.

A Saudi-led coalition began air strikes against Iran-backed Houthis and militias who are loyal to ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh on March 26. 

More than 1,300 people have been killed since the start of Saudi-led coalition operations, awaking an international concern about humanitarian disaster, leaving locals homeless and causing shortages of food, medicine and fuel.

The ceasefire was agreed by the Iran-backed Houthis after heavy air strikes have started since Friday, targeting houthi strongholds in the north provinces of Yemen.

Three air strikes were launched on the former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh’s residence in the capital Sanaa on Sunday as well. The former president and his family escaped uninjured, Yemeni news agency Khabar has reported.

TRTWorld and agencies