UN Concern at Truce Violations in Yemen

UN Concern at Truce Violations in YemenUN Concern at Truce Violations in Yemen

As the UN scurried to salvage an increasingly fragile ceasefire, Yemeni troops loyal to the fugitive president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi gained control of a northwestern city on Friday, residents and tribal sources said.

UN Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed voiced deep concern late on Friday, the fourth day of peace talks, at “numerous reports of violations of the cessation of hostilities” and set up a mechanism to strengthen compliance, a UN statement said.

The heads of delegations at the talks being held in Switzerland between the ousted Yemeni government and Houthi fighters had renewed their commitment to a ceasefire that took effect on Tuesday, it said according to Reuters.

“He urges all parties to respect this agreement and allow unhindered access for the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the most affected districts of Yemen,” the statement said.

Talks would continue on Saturday to “build on what was agreed upon in previous days and continue efforts to find an urgent political resolution to the crisis in Yemen”, it added.

The seven-day truce was declared to aid the chances of success of peace talks, in an effort to end the civil war that erupted in Yemen last year.

The UN-sponsored peace talks opened away from television cameras on Tuesday in the hope of ending nearly nine months of conflict that have killed almost 6,000 people and displaced millions.

Sources close to the talks said direct talks between Hadi’s side and the Houthi group had been suspended since Wednesday evening.

Mohammed Abdelsalam, the head of the Houthi delegation, said the group had not boycotted any session of talks on Friday but had given the United Nations a letter detailing “violations” of the ceasefire.

Those included, Abdelsalam said, “airstrikes, military spread and expansion into Jawf and Marib”, according to the Houthi-run Sabanews agency. Sabanews cited him as “affirming the continuation of consultative sessions in order to consolidate the ceasefire”.