Yemen government and STC agree ceasefire: Saudi coalition

Both sides to work and advance the Riyadh agreement

epa08385412 A militiaman of the separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) in south Yemen patrols a street after the STC declared self-rule in the southern port city of Aden, Yemen, 26 April 2020.  EPA/NAJEEB ALMAHBOOBI
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The Saudi-led Coalition on Monday welcomed a ceasefire agreement between Yemen’s government and the Southern Transitional Council. 

“The coalition supports the request of a comprehensive ceasefire, an end to the escalation, and a meeting in the kingdom, to advance the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement,” the Saudi Foreign Ministry said.

It said it also supported "the return of political and military committees and teams to work to urgently implement the deal".

Both sides agreed on a ceasefire in Abyan province, de-escalation of tensions in other regions and the start of talks on putting the Riyadh Agreement into effect, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Yemen Mohammed Al Jaber wrote on Twitter.

Last year, Saudi Arabia brokered a peace deal between the two sides after government forces clashed with those allied to the STC in and around Aden, the interim seat of President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi's administration.

But the STC declared a plan to move towards self-rule in April, accusing the government of delaying a Cabinet shake-up and of not putting a new power-sharing arrangement agreed in Riyadh into effect.

Since then, clashes between the nominal allies have stalled UN efforts to end the war and protect Yemen’s fractured health system from the novel coronavirus.

The coalition said it would send monitors into Abyan to ensure the ceasefire was upheld and the fighting halted. It also called on Yemen's political, social and media entities to support the two sides in putting the Riyadh Agreement into effect.

The Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis on behalf of the government announced a unilateral truce last month, prompted by a UN plea for all sides to focus on the coronavirus pandemic, but the rebels have not accepted it and violence has continued.

Yemen has been mired in violence that has killed more than 100,000 since 2015

The fallout from the conflict has led Yemen to be labelled as one of the world’s most desperate humanitarian disasters.