UN-backed ceasefire to be extended in Yemen

December 21, 2015 12:30 pm 

ADEN, Yemen, Dec. 21 — The Saudi-backed Yemeni government announced Sunday that a shaky seven-day ceasefire will be extended by another week on condition that the Shiite Houthi group and their allies commit to the truce.

Yemen's newly appointed Foreign Minister Abul-Malik Almekhlafi who heads government delegates to peace talks with Houthis in Switzerland declared the renewal of the ceasefire during a press conference held there.

The Yemeni Foreign Minister said that "President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has asked me to announce a renewal of the cease-fire with condition that the other side (Houthis) respects it too."

Delegations of the two Yemeni warring sides have agreed to resume talks in another round due to begin on January 14th in an African country, according to government sources.

Both sides had promised to respect the UN-backed ceasefire that coincided with the commencement of peace talks on Dec. 15, but several violations were noticed in Taiz and elsewhere.

One day after the armistice went into effect, the Yemeni warring rivals have exchanged accusations of violation amid continuous fighting and shelling in several northern provinces.

Yemen's northern provinces of Marib and Al-Jawf have seen fierce battles during the past three days despite the truce, killing and injuring scores of people.

Tribal sources said that fighters for Popular Resistance, an anti-Houthi militia, backed by army soldiers launched Sunday a series of attacks on military camps held by Houthis in Al-Jawf province and forced pro-Houthi fighters to withdraw.

The impoverished Arab country was plunged into violence in September 2014 when the Shiite Houthi group invaded the country's capital Sanaa, driving President Hadi and his government into exile.

The conflict soon turned into an all-out civil war between pro-government forces and Houthi militants backed by troops loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. A Saudi-led Arab coalition later intervened earlier this year to restore the rule of government of Hadi.

The almost daily air raids by the alliance and ground fighting have killed thousands of Yemeni civilians and displaced tens of thousands to flee. (PNA/Xinhua)



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