UN Envoy Stresses Importance of Renewing Truce in Yemen
As part of the implementation of the truce, representatives of the Yemen’s internationally recognized government and the National Salvation Government in Sana’a are starting the negotiations under UN auspices on Wednesday, in Amman, Jordan, to agree on opening roads in Taiz and other provinces.
“Yemenis have suffered for too long from the impact of road closures. Opening roads in Taiz and elsewhere is a crucial element of the truce that will allow families divided by frontlines to see each other, children to go to school, civilians to go to work and reach hospitals, and essential trade to resume. I call on the parties to negotiate in good faith to urgently reach an agreement that facilitates freedom of movement and improved conditions for civilians”, UN Special Envoy Hans Grundberg said.
As part of the truce, the parties have also made important progress towards resuming commercial flights to and from Sana’a airport. More than 1000 passengers have traveled so far and the frequency of flights is increasing. Preparations are now under way to resume flights between Sana’a and Cairo, Egypt.
“This will allow more Yemenis to travel abroad to access medical care, educational and trade opportunities, and to visit family,” said Mr. Grunberg. “I am grateful to the Government of Egypt for its cooperation on facilitating flights from Sana’a to Cairo and its active support to the UN’s peace efforts.”
Fighting has sharply reduced since the start of the truce, and civilian casualties have dropped significantly. However, there have been some alarming reports of continued fighting and civilian casualties in some parts of Yemen in recent weeks.
“I call on the parties to exercise maximum restraint to preserve the truce, and to fulfill their obligations under international law to protect civilians. I will work with the parties as part of the coordination mechanisms established under the truce to prevent, de-escalate and resolve incidents,” Grundberg added in statement.
As the current truce agreement approaches the end of its two-month period on 2 June, the UN Special Envoy is actively engaging with the parties to renew the truce. “We have seen the tangible benefits the truce has delivered so far for the daily lives of Yemenis. The parties need to renew the truce to extend and consolidate these benefits to the people of Yemen who have suffered over seven years of war,” said Mr. Grundberg.
“The truce has presented a window of opportunity to break with the violence and suffering of the past and move towards a peaceful future in Yemen. The parties need to seize this opportunity, by implementing and renewing the truce and negotiating more durable solutions on security, political and economic issues, including revenues and salaries, to support a comprehensive political settlement of the conflict.
The parties have the responsibility to safeguard and deliver on this potential for peace in Yemen.”