Yemen’s warring parties have agreed to renew a two-month truce, the United Nations said Thursday, in an 11th-hour move on the day it was set to expire.
“I would like to announce that the parties to the conflict have agreed to the United Nations’ proposal to renew the current truce in Yemen for two additional months,” the UN special envoy on Yemen, Hans Grundberg, said in a statement.
“The extension of the truce comes into effect when the current truce period expires, today 2 June 2022 at 19:00 Yemen time (1600 GMT).”
Yemen has been gripped by conflict since the Iran-backed Houthi militia took control of the capital Sanaa in 2014.
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Grundberg added the truce was extended under the same terms as the previous one.
Aid groups in Yemen have touted the benefits of the truce, which went into effect in April.
Beyond opening Sanaa airport to some commercial flights - a lifeline to Yemenis needing medical care abroad - the truce has allowed oil tankers to dock in the Houthi-held port of Hodeida, potentially easing fuel shortages in Sanaa and elsewhere.
But a provision for the Houthis to ease their siege of Yemen’s third-largest city Taiz has yet to be implemented, to the anger of the government which is demanding roads to the city be opened.
Meanwhile, the Houthis have called on the government to pay the salaries of public sector employees working in areas under their control.
“In order for the truce to fully deliver on its potential, additional steps will need to be taken, particularly on the matters of road openings and commercial flight operations,” Grundberg said.
“I will continue engaging with the parties to implement and consolidate all elements of the truce in full, and move towards a sustainable political settlement to the conflict that meets the legitimate aspirations and demands of Yemeni women and men.”
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