Creating new perspectives since 2009

UN: Parties of Yemen conflict make significant progress towards truce

May 16, 2020 at 10:11 am

UN special envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths in Sweden, on 13 December 2018 [Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images]

The United Nations (UN) Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths told the UN Security Council on Thursday that the parties to the Yemen conflict have made significant progress towards a ceasefire agreement.

Griffiths made a new attempt to reach a truce in Yemen after UN Secretary-General António Guterres called on 23 March for a ceasefire in global conflicts so that the world could focus on countering the coronavirus pandemic.

The UN envoy submitted draft proposals on a nationwide ceasefire, humanitarian and economic measures and an urgent resumption of the political process for the Yemeni government and the Houthis, who have been fighting for more than five years.

“We have noticed significant progress in these negotiations, especially regarding the ceasefire at the national level,” Griffiths told the 15-member Security Council.

READ: Yemen reports 21 new coronavirus cases including 3 deaths

He continued: “However, the ceasefire is part of a broader package of measures that must be fully agreed upon. There are still disagreements over some humanitarian and economic measures in that package.”

Griffiths stated that these humanitarian and economic measures are also necessary to combat the coronavirus: “Which is spreading at an unknown rate with low levels of tests.”

The UN envoy further stated that: “The Yemeni people are right to feel frustrated at the slow pace of these negotiations. We all hope that these negotiations will soon be successful.”

READ: WFP: Food prices rise in Yemen due to coronavirus

While around 80 per cent of Yemen’s population of 24 million people need humanitarian aid, relief organisations fear that the virus will spread at a catastrophic pace amid the deteriorating health system in Yemen, and the spread of hunger and diseases after years of conflict.