The United Nations has announced a two-month renewal of the Yemen truce

Yemeni capital Sanaa after airstrikes, 9 October 2015.

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A truce between the Government in Yemen and Houthi rebels – initially for two months that had to expire on Thursday, 2 May – has been renewed for another two months. UN Special Envoy for the country Hans Grundberg announced that parties involved in the conflict had reached an agreement.

“By agreeing to implementing and now renewing the truce, the parties have provided a rare glimmer of hope to Yemenis that an end to this devastating conflict is possible,” UN Special Envoy said in a statement.

The extension comes into effect at 7 p.m, local time, and under the same terms as the original UN-brokered agreement, which began on 2 April.

Reaping the benefits

The conflict between Yemeni Government forces, backed by a Saudi-led coalition, and the Houthis began in 2015, a few months after the rebels took over the capital, Sana’a.

The truce had a significant impact on the population. Civilian casualties have dropped significantly, fuel deliveries through Hudaydah port have increased considerably, and commercial flights have resumed at the main airport in Sana’a, after nearly six years.

Over the past two months, the country’s people have experienced the tangible benefits of the truce, said Mr. Grundberg.

Shifting the trajectory

Additionally, the parties have been meeting face-to-face under UN auspices for the first time in years to make progress toward opening roads in Taiz and other war-ravaged governorates and implementing nationwide military de-escalation mechanisms.

“I commend the parties for taking these steps, and for agreeing to extend the truce,” said UN Special Envoy. “The truce represents a significant shift in the trajectory of the war and has been achieved through responsible and courageous decision making by the parties.”

However, additional steps still need to be taken, particularly on road openings and commercial flight operations, added Mr. Grundberg.

UN engagement continues

The UN envoy will continue his engagement with the parties towards fully consolidating all elements of the truce, and a sustainable political settlement to the conflict.

“I count on the parties’ continued cooperation in good faith to build trust and take meaningful steps towards providing a peaceful future for all Yemenis,” he said.

Mr. Grundberg was grateful for international support for the implementation and renewal of the truce.

In particular, he mentioned the support of Saudi Arabia, Oman, and the members of the UN Security Council.

He also underlined his appreciation to Egypt and Jordan for their support in facilitating the resumption of international commercial flights from Sana’a airport.

A woman baking bread at her shelter in Khanfar District, Yemen. Credit: © WFP/ Saleh Hayyan

Secretary-General’s statement

The following statement was issued today by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres:

“I welcome the agreement by the Government of Yemen and the Houthis to renew the truce in Yemen for an additional two months under the same terms as the original agreement.

Since the truce came into effect on 2 April 2022, Yemenis have experienced real and tangible benefits, including a significant reduction in violence and civilian casualties, an increase in fuel deliveries through Hudaydah port, and the resumption of international commercial flights from Sana’a for the first time in almost six years.

The truce has also enabled the parties to meet directly under UN auspices to commence negotiations for the reopening of roads in Taiz and other governorates and the implementation of nationwide military de-escalation mechanisms.

I strongly urge the parties to complete the full implementation of the terms of the truce without delay in order to uphold the interests of all Yemenis, who continue to suffer from one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world.

I thank my Special Envoy, Hans Grundberg, and his team for their tireless efforts and those of all regional and international actors, including the members of the Security Council, for their continued support to our collective efforts. Regional and international support will remain critical for the continuation and successful implementation of the truce.”

The United States Welcomes the Truce Extension

“The United States welcomes today’s announcement by the UN on the extension of the truce in Yemen,” stated in a press statement US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken.

“This 60-day extension is another important step toward peace and will bring further relief to millions of Yemenis. We are grateful for the efforts of UN Special Envoy Hans Grundberg as well as those of our own Special Envoy, Tim Lenderking, who has worked closely across our government and with the UN and our international partners to achieve this extension. We also appreciate the support of the Governments of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, and Oman in helping secure the truce,” added US Secretary.

Mr. Blinken said the United States urges the parties to cooperate fully with Special Envoy Grundberg as he builds on the truce toward a comprehensive and inclusive peace process.

“The parties must continue to uphold their responsibilities under the truce and work together to improve the lives of Yemenis, to include immediately opening roads to the city of Taiz, where hundreds of thousands of Yemenis have suffered for far too long. The first two months of the truce witnessed a dramatic reduction in civilian casualties, improved freedom of movement and humanitarian access, and increased access to fuel and basic goods.  These benefits should continue and expand,” he said.

Antony Blinken reiterated that the United States remains committed to an inclusive, durable resolution to the conflict that alleviates the suffering of Yemenis, that empowers them to determine the future of their country without foreign interference, and that addresses Yemenis’ calls for justice and accountability.

“The Yemeni parties have an opportunity to listen to the demands of the people and choose peace over continued suffering, destruction, and war. We urge them to seize this pivotal moment to begin a comprehensive peace process,” concluded US Secretary.

Food insecurity affects more than half of the population

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, Yemen remains the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. The country has become increasingly unstable since the conflict escalated dramatically in 2015, severely disrupting the economy, including the agriculture sector, collapsing essential services and exhausting coping mechanisms.

Escalating conflict last year, resulted in untold suffering and further disruption of public services, pushing humanitarian needs higher, said a press release issued by the UN humanitarian affairs office (OCHA) team in Yemen.

A collapsing economy, another product of the seven-year war, has exacerbated vulnerabilities for the poorest, with a record 19 million people are projected to require food assistance in the second half of 2022.

There are an estimated 161,000 who face “the most extreme hunger”, says OCHA. “Children continue to suffer horribly”, with 2.2 million acutely malnourished, including more than half a million at severe levels. Limited access to critical services continues to worsen the conditions of the most vulnerabl

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