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UN envoy for Yemen appeals for ceasefire renewal

The UN envoy accused the rebels of 449 violations within 24 hours of ceasefire, the rebels hit back saying the Saudi-forces committed airstrikes. (Representative image) Photograph: (Reuters)

WION Aden, 'Adan Governorate, Yemen Oct 23, 2016, 02.35 AM (IST)

The United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen appealed to renew the 72-hour ceasefire in the country, while battle rages on between the Houthi rebels and the government forces. 

The 72-hour ceasefire had been imposed on Wednesday night and ended on Saturday. The temporary truce was called in to allow aid to be sent to the war-torn country. 

Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, the UN special envoy wrote on his facebook page, saying "With the 72-hour Cessation of Hostilities in Yemen coming to an end, the United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed urges all parties to agree to its extension for at least another renewable 72 hours".

"We noted over the last days that food and humanitarian supplies were provided to several affected neighborhoods and that UN personnel were able to reach areas that were previously inaccessible. We would like to build on this and we aim for a wider outreach in the next few days," he added.

He also tweeted, urging regional and the international community to cease all hostilities. 


(Translation: I call upon all the parties and the regional and international community to promote the full respect of the cessation of hostilities even lead to a permanent end to the conflict in Yemen.)

The ceasefire held on despite repeated violations from both sides. According to military officials, the fighting between the two groups has been going on for the past two days. 

The UN envoy on Friday said he was trying to collaborate with both groups "to create a conducive environment for a long-lasting peace" in Yemen.

Late on Friday, he met with Yemen's vice president Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar in Riyadh, AFP reported. 

Ahmar accused the rebels of committing 449 violations within 24-hours of the ceasefire taking place and asserted that the government forces were "exercising restraint" and they were asked to "abide by the truce and respect UN efforts".

However, the Houthi rebel-controlled media slammed the Saudi-led coalition forces for shelling across the country. 

This is the sixth ceasefire attempt since March 2015, when the Saudi-led forces began fighting Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi's rebels. The conflict has left nearly 6,900 dead and about three million displaced and in need of aid. 

(WION with inputs from AFP)

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