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Yemen ceasefire fails to hold

01 January 2016


Displaced: two boys whose family fled Saada province, in Yemen, wait for relief supplies during a food distribution by volunteers in the capital, Sanaa, last month

Displaced: two boys whose family fled Saada province, in Yemen, wait for relief supplies during a food distribution by volunteers in the capital, Sana...

A CEASEFIRE agreed by the warring parties in Yemen’s nine-month-long civil war, implemented when they attended UN-led peace talks in Geneva in December, was under collapse within hours after violations by both sides, the UN has said.

The ceasefire had been brokered by the UN’s Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, who chaired the talks. “We strongly believe that the only way to end the suffering of the Yemeni people and to rebuild confidence, trust, and mutual respect is through peaceful and inclusive dialogue,” Mr Ahmed had said.

At the end of the talks, on 20 December, he said: “There was noticeable progress [at the talks] but not enough to reunite Yemen.”

He said that the two sides had agreed on a framework for further negotiations on 14 January, at a venue to be determined.

Battles have been raging since March between northern-based Houthis loyal to the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, and government forces loyal to President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. This has been compounded by the involvement of southern-based separatists, terrorists from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and Islamic State or Daesh, and a campaign of aerial bombardment by a Saudi Arabian-led coalition in support of President Hadi.

The Archdeacon in the Gulf, the Ven. Bill Schwartz, who had called for prayers that the talks would lead to a “real resolution and reconciliation”, said that Christ Church in Aden and its Ras Morbat clinic had been closed when the fighting was at its fiercest.

The clinic had since reopened after repairs to doors and windows. “Aside from our traditional patient-load, our staff has now begun treating many injured in the fighting,” he said.

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