According to Aljazeera and New York Times, the warring parties in Yemen have agreed to begin a cease-fire on April 10 ahead of peace talks starting April 18 in Kuwait, the United Nations envoy to Yemen announced Wednesday.
The envoy, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, has held extensive consultations with Yemen’s internationally recognized government and Houthi Shiite rebels as well as countries in the region and the United States and France. Previous attempts to carry out a cease-fire in Yemen have failed to take hold on the ground, with each side accusing the other of violating the terms. The conflict pits the government, backed by a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia, against the Houthis, who are allied with a former president. More than 6,000 people have been killed in the fighting.
Yemen’s warring parties have agreed to a nationwide cessation of hostilities starting next month in an attempt to end the year-old conflict that has killed more than 6,000 people – half that total civilians.
Source: wikipedia Insurgency in Yemen detailed Map according to published reports. This map's information is based on w:Module:Yemeni Civil War detailed map.
Green: Controlled by Revolutionary Committee
Red: Controlled by Hadi-led government and the Southern Movement
White: Controlled by Ansar al-Sharia/AQAP forces
Grey: Controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)
The country is facing a humanitarian catastrophe, according to the United Nations, with millions of people without enough food or access to adequate medical care.
One year on into the conflict in Yemen, tens of thousands of Yemenis have been killed or injured, one in 10 are displaced and nearly the entire population is in urgent need of aid, the top United Nations humanitarian official in the country said.
There have already been several failed attempts to defuse the conflict in Yemen, which has drawn in regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran and triggered. A first round of talkswas held in Switzerland in December.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) March 23, 2016
The UN envoy said the face-to-face talks in Kuwait will focus on a series of issues, including the withdrawal of military forces, the handover of heavy weaponry, interim security arrangements, and the restoration of state institutions, Al Jazeera’s Shihab Rattansi reported from UN headquarters in New York.
Ould Cheikh Ahmed said the talks aim to reach an agreement to end the conflict and allow the resumption of political dialogue leading to a peaceful transition based on a regional peace initiative.
He also said the parties have committed to reinforcing a committee overseeing the ceasefire with prominent Yemeni figures who will report on progress and security incidents.
Meanwhile, calling it a “breakthrough,” the UN refugee agency today reported that earlier this week, 13 trucks managed to deliver blankets, mattresses, and other badly needed emergency relief items to Yemen’s Taiz governorate.
It was the first time a convoy from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) made it through all the way from Aden to Taizz, which is located in the highlands of country’s southwest.
Dispatched in coordination with the Government of Yemen’s High Relief Committee, it arrived on Sunday in Mashra’a Wa Hadnan, a district immediately south of the embattled Taizz city centre. Distribution is reportedly starting this week for 500 displaced people, others who have returned to Taiz, plus local families who have been affected by the conflict.
Meanwhile, another 13 trucks are on their way to nearby Sabir Al Mawadim district and will be distributed among another 500 families. In Mashra’a Wa Hadnan, the situation is now calm according to the UN, and some displaced families have been returning to their homes, while fighting persists on the eastern part of Sabir Al Mawadim.
“The two districts host over 7,500 displaced people. It is the first time that assistance has been delivered there using the direct route from Aden,” said UNHCR Representative in Yemen, Johannes van der Klaauw, in a press release.
“The wider governorate of Taizz hosts 555,048 internally displaced people, the biggest concentration in the country and equal to almost a quarter of the 2.4 million total Yemen-wide,” he added.