UN announces two-month ceasefire in Yemen
5 April 2022
A two-month ceasefire brokered by the UN took effect in Yemen on Saturday evening, bringing a temporary halt to over seven years of conflict between the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthi armed movement.
UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg announced in a statement on Friday that "the parties agreed to halt all offensive military air, ground and maritime operations inside Yemen and across its borders."
This latest truce comes two days after Saudi Arabia announced it would cease hostilities during Ramadan.
Mr Grundberg added that as part of the agreement, fuel ships would be allowed to dock at the port city of Hudaydah. A lack of port access had been the reason behind the Houthis' previous rejection of Riyadh's move for a cease-fire on Wednesday.
The UN envoy said the truce could be extended, and urged all parties to seek an end to the war.
“The aim of this truce is to give Yemenis a necessary break from violence, relief from humanitarian suffering, and most importantly hope that an end to this conflict is possible.”
The Yemeni Civil war began in late 2014 after the Saudi-backed Yemeni government, led by President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, was driven out of its capital city Sanaa by Iran-aligned Houthi forces.
Saudi Arabia currently leads a nine-nation coalition that began intervening in the conflict in 2015, assisting Hadi’s forces with airstrikes, intelligence and weapons.
Since the start of the war, Yemen has experienced what the UN calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
According to UN estimates, about 377,000 people have died since the start of the conflict, with 60% of these deaths resulting from famine and preventable diseases.
The latest ceasefire offers a glimmer of hope for Yemenis, and has been welcomed by the leaders of the UK and US –both supporters of the Saudi-led coalition.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson called it a "window of opportunity to finally secure peace and end the humanitarian suffering,” while President Biden has said the initiative was a “long-awaited reprieve for the Yemeni people."
Writer: Luc Hillion
Photo Credits: Reuters/DW