• October 24, 2016
    Last updated 2 minutes ago


Yemen ceasefire set to start on Wednesday night: UN envoy

Esmail Ould Shaikh Ahmad says he’s received commitments from all of the country’s stakeholders

23:35 October 17, 2016

United Nations: A 72-hour ceasefire in Yemen is due to start on Wednesday night, the UN envoy for Yemen said on Monday after he received commitments from all of the country’s stakeholders.

UN Special Envoy for Yemen Esmail Ould Shaikh Ahmad said the cessation of hostilities would begin at 11.59 pm local time on Wednesday and could be renewed after the initial three-day period, the United Nations said in statement.

“The Special Envoy welcomes the restoration of the Cessation of Hostilities, which will spare the Yemeni people further bloodshed and will allow for the expanded delivery of humanitarian assistance,” the statement said.

Earlier on Monday, Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdul Malek Al Mekhlafi said on his official Twitter feed that President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi had agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire with the possibility of it being extended.

“The President agreed to a 72 hrs ceasefire to be extended if the other party adheres to it, activates the DCC (De-escalation and Coordination Committee) and lifts the siege of Taiz,” he said.

The DCC is the United Nations-backed military commission responsible for overseeing ceasefires in Yemen.

Hadi’s government has been requesting humanitarian access for Taiz, a divided city largely encircled by Al Houthi rebels who overran Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, in 2014. 

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir said on Monday that Saudi Arabia was prepared to accept a ceasefire if the Houthis agreed to one, but that he was sceptical about peace efforts after previous ceasefire attempts failed. A Saudi-led coalition have carried out air strikes and deployed troops in Yemen in support of Hadi’s government since March 2015.