Yemeni leader: we are abiding by truce despite Houthi violations

Gen Rashad Al Alimi, head of Yemen's presidential council, 'working to provide consensus' to help the country

Gen Rashad Al Alimi was selected to head the eight-man Yemen leadership council to run the country after President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi stepped down in April 2022.  Reuters

The chairman of Yemen’s new presidential council has said his government is respecting the ceasefire in the country, despite the Houthi rebels' failure to do so.

“We confirm our adherence to the truce, despite all Houthi militia’s violations,” Gen Rashad Al Alimi said.

He said his council would work to preserve consensus and partnership to help the country.

Meanwhile, the British Ambassador to Yemen, Richard Oppenheim, said the UK had drafted a resolution that could be considered an alternative to UN Security Council's Resolution 2216 on ending Yemen's war, “when there are real consensus on a political settlement between the parties”.

Once that is achieved, the UNSC will be ready to issue the new resolution, he said.

In a virtual discussion organised by the Sanaa-based Tamdeen Youth Foundation on Thursday, Mr Oppenheim said the UN-mediated truce was “a golden opportunity for the parties to the conflict to implement its provisions and prepare for a comprehensive and sustainable peace”.

More than 100 NGOs participated in the session, along with a number of activists and journalists, on the UK’s vision for peace in Yemen and the role of civil society organisations.

The UN has described a “worsening” humanitarian situation in Yemen, but said that the two-month truce could help reverse the situation.

“The worsening humanitarian crisis in Yemen is a reality that we need to urgently address,” UN humanitarian co-ordinator for Yemen, David Gressly, said in a statement on Saturday.

“[More than] 23 million people — or almost three-quarters of Yemen's population — now need assistance … an increase of almost three million people from 2021,” he said.

Mr Gressly urged donors to take advantage of the truce that has mostly been adhered to since April 2.

“For aid agencies to immediately step up efforts, we count on sufficient donor funding. Otherwise, the aid operation will collapse, despite the positive momentum we are seeing in Yemen today,” he said.

He said the UN needs around $4.3 billion for its 2022 humanitarian response plan for Yemen “to reverse a steady deterioration of the humanitarian situation".

The plan aims to help 17.3 million people in Yemen, where almost 13 million people “are already facing acute levels of need".

Eighty per cent of the 30 million population is dependent on aid.

The truce, the first nationwide cessation of hostilities since 2016, includes a halt to offensive military operations. It also allows fuel imports into areas controlled by the Iran-aligned Houthi group and some commercial flights to operate from Houthi-held Sanaa.

The truce also involved a deal to resume commercial flights out of Sanaa's airport for the first time in six years, although the inaugural flight planned for late April was postponed indefinitely.

Updated: May 02, 2022, 9:31 AM