UN chief urges Yemen's warring parties to renew truce as deadline approaches

Yemen has experienced relative calm and a significant reduction in violence since the agreement took effect on April 2

Militants gather for a protest against Yemen's Houthi rebels in the Khokha region of the country's war-ravaged western province of Hodeidah. AFP
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UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Friday urged Yemen's warring parties to renew an existing truce, which is set to expire on Sunday, and to expand its terms and duration.

Yemen has been experiencing relative calm and a significant reduction in violence since the UN-brokered truce between Yemen's internationally recognised government and the Iran-backed Houthi rebels took effect on April 2.

It has since been renewed twice in two-month iterations and is set to expire on October 2, as the UN seeks a broader expansion.

“I strongly urge the Yemeni parties not only to renew but also to expand the truce’s terms and duration, in line with the proposal presented to them by my special envoy, Hans Grundberg,” Mr Guterres said.

“Over the past six months, [the truce] has delivered tangible benefits and much needed relief to the Yemeni people, including a significant reduction in violence and civilian casualties countrywide, an increase in fuel deliveries through [Hodeidah] port, and the resumption of international commercial flights to and from Sanaa for the first time in almost six years,” Mr Guterres added.

He called for an agreement that would reopen roads in Taez and other governorates and the payment of civil service salaries, which would further improve the day-to-day life of ordinary Yemenis.

“In parallel, work on long-term political, economic and military issues, as proposed by my special envoy, would signal a significant shift towards finding lasting solutions,” he said.

The UN chief called on the Yemeni parties to seize the opportunity and build on the gains achieved and embark on a path towards the resumption of an inclusive and comprehensive political process to reach a negotiated settlement to end the conflict.

“This is a time for all leaders to prioritise the needs and aspirations of the Yemeni people and act in the national interest of Yemen. This is the time to choose peace for good,” Mr Guterres said.

Updated: October 01, 2022, 6:21 AM