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23 Apr, 2020 14:36

Saudi-led ceasefire in Yemen expires, no permanent truce in view

Saudi-led ceasefire in Yemen expires, no permanent truce in view

A two-week ceasefire in Yemen, which had been declared by a Saudi-led military coalition, expired on Thursday without having led to a permanent truce. The latest peace-push follows UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ call last month for a global ceasefire so the world can focus on fighting Covid-19.

The Houthi group battling the coalition did not accept the coalition’s ceasefire announcement, and violence has continued in several provinces including Marib, the last stronghold of the Saudi-backed government. Sources familiar with the matter had expected an extension of the ceasefire for at least another two weeks if not until the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, expected to begin this week, Reuters said.

The Saudi-backed government was ousted from power in the capital, Sanaa, in late 2014 by the Houthi movement, which now holds most big urban centers.

Special UN envoy Martin Griffiths told the UN Security Council on Thursday he expects the combatants to formally adopt, “in the immediate future,” agreements on a nationwide ceasefire, economic and humanitarian measures and a resumption of political talks. However, the Houthis’ spokesman Mohammed Abdulsalam said the UN proposals ignore important issues, including a blockade.