Bomb attack hits Aden despite Yemen ceasefire
Hopes goes on for a long-lasting peace deal that can be hammered out at talks taking place from April 18 in Kuwait
Up to four people killed in suicide bombing near football stadium in Yemen’s Aden as a UN-brokered ceasefire entered its second day and taken hold in Yemen on Tuesday.
Forces loyal to President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, the Shiite Houthi militias who drove his government out of the capital, and the Saudi-led coalition that intervened in Yemen last year all pledged to honor the truce that took effect at midnight on Sunday.
The UN special envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, called the ceasefire “a first step in Yemen’s return to peace”.
“This is critical, urgent and much needed. Yemen cannot afford the loss of more lives,” he said.
Extremist militants including from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the powerful Yemeni branch of the extremist network, have exploited the conflict to seize territory and gain influence.
But pressure had been building for the ceasefire and there are hopes it can be the cornerstone of a long-lasting peace deal that can be hammered out at talks taking place from April 18 in Kuwait.
Yemen’s foreign minister expressed alarm after reported breaches minutes after a ceasefire went into effect at 2100 GMT on Sunday in the country, just a week before the upcoming UN-sponsored peace talks in Kuwait.
“Until now we do not know if the violations were intentional but we will evaluate in the next few hours to see if they were,” Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdulmalik Al-Mekhlafi told Al Arabiya News Channel.
“If these violations prove to be intentional, we will retaliate,” he warned.
Mohammad al-Kamari, a resident in Taiz told Al Arabiya English in a phone interview that “Houthis violated the ceasefire and began attacking [pro-government] resistance forces in Taiz.”
Shelling could be heard in the background during the phone interview with Kamari, who said he first heard the gunfire at 2200 GMT.
Al Arabiya English’s Rua’a Alameri contributed to this report.