Tuesday September 27, 2022

Yemen’s warring parties renew two-month truce: UN

June 03, 2022

DUBAI: Yemen’s warring parties have agreed to renew a two-month truce, the United Nations said on Thursday, in an 11th-hour move on the day it was set to expire.

Aid agencies and Western governments had urged the Yemeni government and Huthi rebels to extend the truce, which went into effect in April and significantly reduced the intensity of fighting in a conflict the UN says has triggered the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

"I would like to announce that the parties to the conflict have agreed to the United Nations’ proposal to renew the current truce in Yemen for two additional months," the UN special envoy on Yemen, Hans Grundberg, said in a statement.

"The extension of the truce comes into effect when the current truce period expires, today 2 June 2022 at 19:00 Yemen time (1600 GMT)." Yemen has been gripped by conflict since the Iran-backed Huthi rebels took control of the capital Sanaa in 2014, triggering a Saudi-led military intervention in support of the beleaguered government the following year.

Grundberg said the truce was extended under the same terms as the previous one. The Norwegian Refugee Council welcomed the development, saying it "shows a serious commitment from all parties to end the senseless suffering of millions of Yemenis".

"We hope this extension of the truce will allow for further progress on the reopening of roads linking cities and regions, allow more displaced people to return to their homes, and ensure humanitarian aid can reach people who have been out of reach because of the fighting," NRC’s Yemen country director, Erin Hutchinson, said in a statement.

On Wednesday, a Yemeni aircraft left Sanaa for Cairo on the first commercial flight between the two cities since 2016. It was the seventh such flight under the truce, with the previous six all heading to the Jordanian capital Amman.

Beyond opening Sanaa airport to some commercial flights -- a lifeline to Yemenis needing medical care abroad -- the truce has allowed oil tankers to dock in the rebel-held port of Hodeida, potentially easing fuel shortages in Sanaa and elsewhere.