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UN envoy to press for new Yemen ceasefire

July 6, 2015 at 12:25 pm

The United Nations envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, arrived in the capital Sanaa on Sunday to negotiate a new ceasefire, Turkey’s Anadolu news agency has reported.

Speaking to reporters at Sanaa International Airport, he said that he will speak with Houthi rebels and their allies during his visit. He is looking for another ceasefire that extends until after Eid Al-Fitr at the end of the month of Ramadan. Such a truce will allow the entry of humanitarian relief for those affected by the war. UN resolution 2216 calls on Houthi rebels to withdraw from the cities they control; the Yemeni government insists on this before any future negotiations.

“We are hoping to secure a humanitarian truce quickly,” said Ahmed, “which could pave the way for a peaceful settlement of the crisis; it has turned into a catastrophe.”

Negotiations which took place under UN auspices last month in Geneva have failed to reach a solution to the conflict in Yemen.

Ahmed’s visit to Sanaa comes after a tour of the Gulf during which he visited Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Oman. He met Yemeni President-in-exile Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi in Riyadh and representatives of the Houthi rebels in Muscat.