A TWO MONTH TRUCE in the conflict between the Government in Yemen and Houthi rebels has been renewed for an additional two months, starting on 2 June, UN Special Envoy for the country Hans Grundberg has announced. 

Mr. Grundberg said: “For the past two months, Yemenis have experienced the tangible benefits of the truce. Civilian casualties have dropped significantly, fuel deliveries through Hudaydah port have increased considerably, and commercial flights resumed to and from Sana’a International Airport after almost six years of closure.

“The parties have been meeting face-to-face under UN auspices for the first time in years to make progress toward opening roads in Taiz and other governorates and implementing nationwide military de-escalation mechanisms.

“I commend the parties for taking these steps, and for agreeing to extend the truce. The truce represents a significant shift in the trajectory of the war and has been achieved through responsible and courageous decision making by the parties. In order for the truce to fully deliver on its potential, additional steps will need to be taken, particularly on the matters of road openings and commercial flight operations. Such steps will require leadership and a vision for all of Yemen.

“I will continue engaging with the parties to implement and consolidate all elements of the truce in full, and move towards a sustainable political settlement to the conflict that meets the legitimate aspirations and demands of Yemeni women and men.

“By agreeing to implementing and now renewing the truce, the parties have provided a rare glimmer of hope to Yemenis that an end to this devastating conflict is possible. I count on the parties’ continued cooperation in good faith to build trust and take meaningful steps towards providing a peaceful future for all Yemenis.”

In response to the news, Oxfam’s Country Director in Yemen Ferran Puig said: “We welcome the news that all parties have reached an agreement to extend the humanitarian truce in Yemen. It’s a hopeful sign that we can move towards a sustainable peace resolution to a conflict that has brought so much death and suffering to the Yemeni people.”

“Now, we call on all parties to take advantage of this next phase to make progress on forging a lasting peace and expanding security and vital services to the Yemeni communities. We hope that outstanding issues in the truce agreement, including road access to Taiz and across the country, can be resolved. Oxfam also urges donors to fulfil their pledges and fully meet the humanitarian appeal for Yemen, to help save lives now.

“With millions facing extreme hunger, displacement, and other threats, the need for peace is more urgent than ever.”

* Sources: Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary General for Yemen and Oxfam International