UN envoy urges Yemen’s warring parties to uphold truce

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The UN envoy to Yemen called Wednesday for “serious engagement” to uphold the war-torn country’s truce, which has offered a rare respite from violence.

Hans Grundberg spoke at the end of his first visit to the Houthi-held capital, where he held talks with Houthi leaders.


The two-month ceasefire took effect 11 days ago.

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“While we see that the truce is broadly holding, we need to be mindful of the challenges, too,” the Swedish diplomat warned at the end of his three-day visit.

“We are relying on the parties’ continued commitment and serious engagement in upholding the truce.”

Grundberg said oil tankers had begun arriving at the port of Hodeidah, one of the terms of the truce intended to ease the “fuel crisis” in Sanaa and elsewhere.

“Intense work” is underway for Sanaa airport’s first commercial flight in six years, another feature of the pause in fighting, Grundberg said, while talks have started on reopening key roads in Taiz and other governorates.

“Despite reported violations that we are concerned about, we have seen a significant overall reduction in hostilities and no confirmed reports of airstrikes or cross-border attacks,” Grundberg added.

In another hopeful sign, Yemen’s president last week handed his powers to a new leadership council tasked with holding peace talks with the Houthis.

More than 150,000 people are estimated to have been directly killed and millions displaced by the fighting, triggering what the United Nations calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Read more:

Yemeni Prime Minister says peace depends on extent of Houthi’s surrender to Iran

Saudi Crown Prince meets with new Yemeni presidential council, pledges aid

Yemen’s president hands over power, relieves VP of duties: State-run news agency

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