Yemen – Conflict – Ceasefire

Yemen Ceasefire Takes Hold, Raising Hopes for Peace Talks

Yemen Ceasefire Takes Hold, Raising Hopes for Peace Talks
Tue Apr 12, 2016 09:58:29

A UN-brokered ceasefire was taking hold in Yemen on Monday despite sporadic clashes, raising hopes that peace talks due next week may finally resolve the country’s devastating conflict.

Forces loyal to former fugitive President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, the Shia Huthis, and the Saudi-led coalition that intervened in Yemen last year all pledged to honor the truce that took effect at midnight on Sunday.

The UN special envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, called the ceasefire “a first step in Yemen’s return to peace.”

“This is critical, urgent and much needed. Yemen cannot afford the loss of more lives,” he said.

Previous efforts to stop the fighting in Yemen — which has killed thousands and forced more than two million people from their homes — collapsed amid mutual recriminations.

The conflict in the impoverished Arabian Peninsula nation has ruined large parts of the country and raised Middle East tensions.

Terrorists including from Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the powerful Yemeni branch of the extremist network, have exploited the conflict to seize territory and gain influence.

But pressure had been building for the ceasefire and there are hopes it can be the cornerstone of a long-lasting peace deal that can be hammered out at talks taking place from April 18 in Kuwait, AFP reported.

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