Saudi Arabia Announces Ceasefire In Yemen Over Coronavirus Fears
A unilateral ceasefire has been declared by the Saudi-UAE led coalition fighting Yemen’s Houthi rebels due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The suspension will be effective at 9:00 GMT on Thursday when the military operations will stop for two weeks in response to the UN’s call for halt in hostilities amidst the pandemic.
The ceasefire is intended to help prevent a coronavirus outbreak in Yemen, while also allowing for a de-escalation in the fighting. It was also aimed at giving the Houthis an opportunity to join UN-sponsored talks on a settlement to the conflict.
The Houthis have not responded to the development.
The proposal has called for a nationwide ceasefire, including halting all air, ground and naval hostilities, and for the parties to ensure compliance by forces on front lines.
The coronavirus emergency can be an opportunity according to the UN and some Western allies for Yemen, to reevaluate Yemen and its combatant’s position in the war that has already left millions of people homeless and vulnerable to the contagion.
The civil war in Yemen has been in place since 2014, when the Houthis toppled the government from power in Sanaa.
Since then, the conflict has affected 100,000 and more people and pushed them to the margins of a famine, living in shelter settlements and displacement camps, which makes them all the more vulnerable to the infection.