Yemen ceasefire comes into effect under UN plan
Temporary truce comes as Yemeni activists are calling for protests in capital Sanaa to demonstrate against the Houthi militias
A ceasefire took effect in war-ravaged Yemen late on Wednesday under a United Nations plan.
The UN special envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, announced that the cessation of hostilities would take effect “at 23:59
Yemen time (2059 GMT) on 19 October 2016, for an initial period of 72 hours, subject to renewal”.
The temporary truce comes as Yemeni activists are calling for protests in capital Sanaa to demonstrate against the Houthi militias for rejecting to pay the salaries of state employees.
Activists had made similar calls in the past to protest against Houthi militias in Sanaa and against the deteriorating living conditions.
The militias have refused to pay the employees' salaries at a time when Sanaa citizens lives under harsh conditions under militant forces, who on almost a daily basis, carry out abduction operations against civilians.
“Most Yemenis want to put an end to the Houthi-Saleh coup,” Yemen expert and analyst Ibraham al-Qatabi told Al Arabiya English, referring to the deposed president Ali Abdullah Saleh, allied with the Houthi militias. “The resentment against Saleh and Houthis continues to grow everyday even within their hardcore supporters.”
“No Yemeni citizen wants to be ruled by a militia and warlords. Everyone knows Saleh and Houthis are not going to last and that’s what the current situation, indicators and history of Yemen tell us,” Qatabi said.
Meanwhile, Yemeni Vice President Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar called on tribes in Yemen to intensify their efforts to reject the coup carried out by Houthi militias and supporters of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.
During his meeting in the Saudi capital Riyadh with tribal leaders from the Hajjah governorate, al-Ahmar voiced the importance of taking a firm and strong position that opposes the Houthi’s mobilization attempts to involve tribes in the fighting along their side.
According to the official Yemeni new agency, Ahmar voiced the importance of the role which Yemeni tribes may play in mitigating the Yemenis' suffering by not allowing those deceived from joining the ranks of the Houthi militias.
Calls opposing Houthi militias came just a day before the 72-hour ceasefire that has been agreed to between President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi and the Houthi militas, expected to begin on Wednesday at midnight local time - with the possibility of an extension.
“The President agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire to be extended if the other party adheres to it,” Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdulmalek al-Mekhlafi said on twitter.
Regional security analyst for Le Beck International Miriam Goldman Eps said both sides were facing increased pressure for a truce because of the escalating tensions following missile attacks against US ships and the accidental funeral airstrike in Sanaa.
“These incidents also contributed to rising international pressure, including from the US and the UK, for an unconditional ceasefire,” Goldman said. “After these events, neither side wanted to be seen as the one blocking even a temporary cessation of hostilities.”
However, Goldman stated that a short truce of 72 hours “will have a limited impact on the conflict.”
“Humanitarian aid might be able to arrive in some areas, but the real aid that Yemen can receive is a political solution to the conflict. Without a resumption of talks and serious progress, little if anything will change,” she said.
Yemen analyst Qatabi also agreed: “What would 72 hours do for a country going through a war and humanitarian disaster with 80 percent of population starving and under the poverty line?” he asked.
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