Yemen confirms 7-day ceasefire for peace talks
Yemen’s president told the United Nations that he has asked the Saudi-led coalition to begin a 7-day ceasefire on Dec. 15 to coincide with U.N.-sponsored peace talks aimed at ending months of fighting.
“I have notified the leadership of the Coalition of our intention to cease fire for a period of seven days, starting December 15 until December 21,” President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi said in a letter on Monday to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
“This will coincide with the starting of consultations and will automatically be renewed upon commitment by the Houthis,” he added.
Hadi’s letter, which it said was also sent to the U.N. Security Council, confirmed remarks made earlier on Monday by U.N. special envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, who said Hadi’s government and the Houthis were committed to the peace process laid down by the Security Council in April.
“I hope you would inform the U.N. envoy of the need to ensure that the Houthis would respect the ceasefire, and to take practical steps to ensure adherence to the permanent ceasefire, so that the Coalition forces would not deal with any breach of the ceasefire,” Hadi said.
He added that the ceasefire came “out of our desire to create an atmosphere for the success of the U.N.-led consultations that the government intends to participate (in) in the coming days, and in order to help avoid further bloodshed and expand the medical and humanitarian relief efforts.”
Forces loyal to Hadi, backed by air strikes and ground forces from a mainly Gulf Arab coalition, have been locked for nine months in a battle with Houthis militias.
Earlier attempts at ceasefires in the conflict fell apart after the two sides accused each other of violations.