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Yemen’s warring parties agree to renew truce for two additional months, says UN

This file photo shows the immediate aftermath of a Saudi-led strike against Yemen's capital city of Sana'a.

The United Nations says the Saudi Arabia-led coalition that has been attacking Yemen since 2015 and Yemen’s National Salvation Government have agreed to renew a two-month truce after days of negotiations.

"I would like to announce that the parties to the conflict have agreed to the United Nations' proposal to renew the current truce in Yemen for two additional months," UN special envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg announced in a statement on Thursday.

"The extension of the truce comes into effect when the current truce period expires, today 2 June 2022 at 19:00 Yemen time (1600 GMT)."

The ceasefire agreement was mediated by the UN between the coalition and Yemen’s popular Ansarullah resistance movement on April 2. The truce was announced after Yemen’s Supreme Political Council declared a voluntary and unilateral three-day pause in retaliatory strikes against targets in Saudi Arabia.

The UN envoy also noted that the truce was extended under the same terms as the previous one.

Elsewhere, Grundberg stressed that a ground, aerial and naval blockade of Yemen imposed by Riyadh and its allies needed to be urgently addressed. 

"In order for the truce to fully deliver on its potential, additional steps will need to be taken, particularly on the matters of road openings and commercial flight operations," Grundberg said.

"I will continue engaging with the parties to implement and consolidate all elements of the truce in full, and move towards a sustainable political settlement to the conflict that meets the legitimate aspirations and demands of Yemeni women and men."

In line with the agreement, the coalition agreed to end its attacks on the Yemeni soil that it began in March 2015 with the goal of changing Yemen’s power structure in favor of the country’s former Saudi-allied officials.

The coalition also agreed to end a simultaneous siege that it has been enforcing against Yemen.

Hussein al-Ezzi, the deputy foreign minister in Yemen’s National Salvation Government, however, in April said the coalition was “still obstructing” flights to the Sana'a International Airport in Yemen’s capital and “detaining fuel ships” that were headed to the impoverished country.

On Wednesday, the Yemeni defense minister in the National Salvation Government said that the Saudi-led military coalition was taking advantage of the UN-brokered ceasefire in order to mobilize allied militants in line with its hostile plots.

Major General Mohammad al-Atifi said Saudi-led coalition forces and their allies had exposed their conspiratorial intentions by hampering conflict resolution initiatives and all efforts aimed at establishing inclusive peace throughout Yemen.

He noted that Yemeni armed forces and fighters from Popular Committees were committed to the directives given by the leader of Ansarullah resistance movement, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi.

Saudi Arabia launched the devastating war on Yemen in March 2015 in collaboration with its Arab allies and with arms and logistics support from the US and other Western states.

The objective was to reinstall the Riyadh-friendly regime of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and crush the Ansarullah resistance movement, which has been running state affairs in the absence of a functional government in Yemen.

While the Saudi-led coalition has failed to meet any of its objectives, the war has killed hundreds of thousands of Yemenis and spawned the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

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