Warring parties in Yemen agree to April 10 ceasefire

Yemen’s warring parties agree to nationwide cessation of hostilities on April 10, just week before peace talks, UN envoy says

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

A fighter from the Southern Popular Resistance mans a machine gun at the front line of fighting against Houthi fighters, on the outskirts of Yemen’s southern port city of Aden.

The warring parties in Yemen have agreed to a cessation of hostilities starting at midnight on April 10 and peace talks in Kuwait beginning a week later, United Nations special envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said on Wednesday.

There have already been several failed attempts to defuse the conflict in Yemen, which has drawn in regional foes Saudi Arabia and Iran, and triggered a humanitarian crisis in the Arab world's poorest country.

"This is really our last chance," Ould Cheikh Ahmed told reporters in New York. "The war in Yemen must be brought to an end."

The UN Security Council also welcomed the announcement and urged parties to the conflict to "immediately reduce violence and refrain from any action that could lead to increased tensions, in order to pave the way for a cessation of hostilities."

Ould Cheikh Ahmed said Saudi Arabia is "fully committed to make sure that the next talks take place and particularly supports us with regard to the cessation of hostilities."

The Saudi Arabia-led military coalition formally began its intervention in Yemen on March 25 after the Houthi rebels advanced on the southern city of Aden, forcing Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi to flee the city.

According to Yemen Ministry of Public Health, at least 7,000 people, including 1600 children, have been killed in the ongoing civil war in Yemen, nearly half of them civilians and more than 16,500 have been injured since March 2015.

War in the country has triggered an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in Yemen. Currently, 80 percent of Yemen’s population is in desperate need of humanitarian aid to meet their basic needs and protect their fundamental rights, including security and safety of civilians and provision of essential services.

Twenty million people in the country are in need of aid, 13 million are facing food shortages and 9.4 million are having difficulties accessing drinking water.

TRTWorld, Reuters