The United Nations welcomes the proposed ceasefire in Yemen

 The capital Sana’a and the city of Hudaydah on the map of Yemen The capital Sana’a and the city of Hudaydah on the map of Yemen Photo by KeithBinns on iStock

23 March 2021

The UN Secretary General has welcomed the steps proposed by Saudi Arabia to end the conflict in Yemen and begin the peace process in the country

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud has proposed a plan to reopen political negotiations between the Saudi-backed government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and the Houthis, under the auspices of the United Nations. The proposal was welcomed by the Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), Antonio Guterres, but the Houthis have criticized the plan, describing it as an“ old offer”, hinting at a possible rejection.

For six years the Saudi Arabia-led military coalition and the Iran-aligned Houthi rebel group have been engaged in a devastating conflict over the rule of the country. The war has caused tens of thousands of deaths and left 21 million in need of humanitarian aid, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The steps recently proposed by Saudi Arabia would entail the re-opening of the Sana’a airport and of the port of Hudaydah on the Red Sea, both under control of the Houthis. This maneuver would allow to resume the regular flow of fuel and commodities, and their distribution in the country, whose population is facing the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. However, the Houthis responded to the proposal by conditioning their cooperation on the complete removal of the blockade on the airport and harbor. The Saudi proposal is not the first peace effort put forward in six years of conflict, as attempts of ceasefire were already made in 2015, 2016,2018, and 2020, with no successful result.

Despite being defined as “nothing new” by the Houthis, Antonio Guterres has endorsed the proposal, claiming that the steps envisaged are “aimed at bringing the parties closer to a resolution”. Furthermore, the Secretary General has stressed the importance of putting the needs of the Yemeni people above other considerations, and has called on the parties to work with the Special Envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, and “do their utmost to facilitate an immediate agreement”

 

To know more, please visit:

https://news.un.org/en/story/2021/03/1088102

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/3/23/yemens-ceasefire-attempts-between-houthis-and-saudi-coalition

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/3/22/saudi-arabia-proposes-nationwide-truce-to-yemens-houthi-rebels

 

Author: Carla Leonetti; Editor: Francesca Mencuccini

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