UN envoy urges Yemen parties to extend truce

Hans Grundberg warns resumption of fighting could destabilise region

UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg briefs a Security Council meeting on Yemen at the UN headquarters. AFP
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Hans Grundberg, the UN special envoy to Yemen, said on Thursday that a peace deal is still possible and urged warring parties to demonstrate “flexibility”.

A truce between the Iran-backed Houthis and the Saudi-led coalition initially took effect in April and raised hopes for a longer pause in fighting as Yemen’s civil war entered in its eighth year.

But the truce came to an end on October 2 after UN-backed attempts to renew it failed. Still, an unofficial ceasefire seems to be largely holding.

“I personally believe that there is still a possibility for the parties to come to an agreement. The stakes are this high,” Mr Grundberg told the UN Security Council.

“It is critical that we do not lose this opportunity. The parties need to demonstrate the leadership, compromise and flexibility required to urgently reach an agreement on the renewal and expansion of the truce.”

Warning that a resumption of the conflict would have “destabilising effects” for the whole region, Mr Grundberg reiterated his call for all parties to abide by provisions of the UN-backed truce proposal in order to “find solutions that are in the best interest of the Yemeni population and to pursue every avenue for peace”.

US Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking this month called on the Iran-backed Houthi rebels to show more flexibility in the “maximalist and impossible” demands over a proposed mechanism to pay public sector wages.

UAE Deputy Ambassador to the UN Mohamed Abushahab urged the Security Council to take serious measures to stop systematic violations of the arms embargo imposed by various resolutions.

He also warned that a resumption of fighting would “further exacerbate the economic and humanitarian crisis caused by the ongoing war and global inflation”.

Updated: October 13, 2022, 7:12 PM