Truce begins in Yemen as aid workers hope to use the peace to help parts of the country cut off for months
A three-day ceasefire brokered by the UN is underway in war torn Yemen.
If it holds its hoped it will be extended leading to a resumption of peace talks which collapsed in August.
The 19-month conflict has pitted Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi’s forces – supported by a Saudi-led coalition – against Iran-backed Houthi rebels, who control Sanaa.
It is the sixth attempt to end the bloodshed in Yemen since March 2015 https://t.co/LOpWAO9Wqo
— Middle East Eye (@MiddleEastEye) October 19, 2016
For UN Humanitarian coordinator, Jamie McGoldrick, the truce is a chance to distribute much needed aid.
“You know, we have large scale humanitarian operations under way in this country, throughout many parts of it – 75 percent. And during the cessation of hostilities we would hope to do our best to deliver assistance to those in areas where we haven’t been able to reach for some time. That’s our ambition.”
The announcement of the ceasefire follows international alarm over the deaths of 140 people in a Saudi airstrike which hit a funeral gathering in Sanaa.
The fighting has excaserbated Yemen’s already urgent humanitarian needs by increasing malnutrician and damaging infrastructure. Nearly 7,000 people have been killed plus 35,000 wounded and at least three million people have been displaced.
80% of #Yemen needs humanitarian assistance.
SecKerry</a> on <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ceasefire?src=hash">#ceasefire</a> & hopes that it will allow partners safe access <a href="https://t.co/ZzDCaSD9Fp">https://t.co/ZzDCaSD9Fp</a> <a href="https://t.co/z068NQ3TwR">pic.twitter.com/z068NQ3TwR</a></p>— USAID/OFDA (theOFDA) October 19, 2016