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Saudi-UAE coalition declares 2-week unilateral ceasefire in Yemen

The conflict in Yemen has killed more than 100,000 people and pushed millions to the verge of famine [Khaled Abdullah/Reuters] The Saudi-UAE coalition fighting Yemen’s Houthi rebels has declared a unilateral ceasefire. The suspension of the coalition’s military operations is expected to go into effect at 12pm local time (09:00 GMT) on Thursday and last for two…

Saudi-UAE coalition declares 2-week unilateral ceasefire in Yemen

The conflict in Yemen has killed more than 100,000 people and pushed millions to the verge of famine [Khaled Abdullah/Reuters]
The Saudi-UAE coalition fighting Yemen’s Houthi rebels has declared a unilateral ceasefire.
The suspension of the coalition’s military operations is expected to go into effect at 12pm local time (09:00 GMT) on Thursday and last for two weeks, Saudi Arabia’s state-run news agency SPA quoted coalition spokesperson Colonel Turki al-Malki as saying.
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The announcement came days after the United Nations called for a halt in hostilities amid the coronavirus pandemic.
SPA said on Wednesday that the ceasefire is intended to help prevent a coronavirus outbreak in Yemen, while also allowing for a de-escalation in the fighting. It was also aimed at giving the Houthis an opportunity to join UN-sponsored talks on a settlement to the conflict.
There was no immediate comment by the Houthis.
Mohammed Abdulsalam, spokesman of the Houthi movement, earlier said the group sent to the UN a comprehensive vision which includes an end to the five-year war and to “the blockade” imposed on Yemen.
“[Our proposal] will lay the foundations for a political dialogue and a transitional period,” Abdulsalam said in a Twitter post on Wednesday.
Last week, UN special envoy Martin Griffiths sent a proposal to the internationally recognised government, the Saudi-UAE military coalition that supports it and the Houthi movement that controls the capital, Sanaa, and most of northern Yemen. 
The proposal called for a nationwide ceasefire, including halting all air, ground and naval hostilities, and for the parties to ensure compliance by forces on front lines. 
The UN and Western allies have been pointing to the threat of coronavirus to push Yemen’s combatants to agree to fresh talks to end a war that has left millions vulnerable to disease.
Yemen has been mired in conflict since the Houthis toppled the government from power in Sanaa in late 2014.
The conflict has killed more than 100,000 people and unleashed an urgent humanitarian crisis that has pushed millions to the verge of famine and forced thousands to seek shelter in displacement camps.

SOURCE:
Al Jazeera and news agencies

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Saudi-led coalition extends unilateral Yemen ceasefire by a month

The Houthis want air and sea blockades to be lifted before agreeing to a truce [File: Mohamed al-Sayaghi/Reuters] The Saudi-led coalition has extended a unilateral ceasefire in Yemen by one month to support efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic, even as fighting persists in the war-torn country. The move came on Friday, after Yemen’s Iran-aligned…

Saudi-led coalition extends unilateral Yemen ceasefire by a month

The Houthis want air and sea blockades to be lifted before agreeing to a truce [File: Mohamed al-Sayaghi/Reuters]
The Saudi-led coalition has extended a unilateral ceasefire in Yemen by one month to support efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic, even as fighting persists in the war-torn country.
The move came on Friday, after Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi rebels rejected a two-week ceasefire declared by the military coalition that ended on Thursday.
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The coalition has decided to “extend the ceasefire for a month from Thursday”, its spokesman Turki al-Maliki was quoted as saying by the state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
“The coalition reaffirms that there is still an opportunity to focus all efforts in order to reach a comprehensive and lasting ceasefire in Yemen,” he added.
Violence has continued in several provinces throughout the two-week unilateral ceasefire, raising fears that the war will grind on and shatter Yemen’s already weakened ability to fight the coronavirus.
Rebel demands
The Houthis want a lifting of air and sea blockades imposed by the coalition to the regions they control before agreeing to a ceasefire, Reuters News Agency reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres last month called for ceasefires in conflicts across the world to allow countries to focus on the COVID-19 pandemic.
While Yemen has reported one case of the novel coronavirus, aid groups fear a catastrophic outbreak should the virus spread among an acutely malnourished population in a country without adequate testing capabilities.
Yemen has been mired in conflict since the Houthi rebel group overthrew the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi from the capital Sanaa in late 2014.
A Saudi-led military coalition in 2015 intervened in a bid to restore the government.
The conflict has pushed Yemen, one of the Arab world’s poorest countries, to the brink of famine and devastated the country’s healthcare facilities.

SOURCE:
News agencies

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