Yemen Peace Talks Set to Resume amid Shaky Ceasefire
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A concerted United Nations effort aimed at ending nearly 13 months of war in Yemen sees peace talks resuming Monday, but with a ceasefire barely holding.
Previous attempts have failed to stop the fighting which has killed thousands of people, forced almost 2.8 million from their homes and raised regional tensions.
A ceasefire that came into effect Sunday at midnight to pave the way for the talks in Kuwait has been violated numerous times.
But Houthis, representatives loyal to fugitive ex-president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, and the United Nations, which sponsored the ceasefire, have avoided talk of it collapsing, as happened with three earlier truces, AFP reported on Friday.
The ceasefire does not apply to extremist groups, which have exploited the chaos to strengthen their hold in the south.
The coalition led by Saudi Arabia early this week described ceasefire violations as "minor". The coalition began airstrikes in March last year to restore power to Hadi.
Briefing the Security Council Friday ahead of the talks, UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, who has conducted months of shuttle diplomacy, said Yemen has "never been so close to peace".
The Pro-Hadi representatives and Houthis last sat down to talk in Geneva in December, but six days of negotiations ended with no major breakthrough.
In contrast with previous ceasefires, joint committees of Houthi and loyalist troops were formed to monitor compliance.