UN envoy discussing Yemen truce for Ramadan

UN envoy discussing Yemen truce for Ramadan
As humanitarian crises compound in Yemen and military operations escalate, UN officials are attempting to hash out a Ramadan truce in the war-torn country.
2 min read
Hans Grundberg is hoping to take advantage of the holy month to agree ceasefire terms between warring parties [Getty]

United Nations special envoy Hans Grundberg is discussing a possible truce for Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is battling the Houthi movement, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan which starts in April, his office said on Sunday.

It said Grundberg met on Saturday with the Houthi's chief negotiator and Omani officials in Muscat to discuss UN consultations and efforts to address the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen, "including a possible truce" during Ramadan.

The seven-year war in Yemen has killed tens of thousands of people and pushed the country to the brink of famine.

Yemen's Houthi group has previously said it would welcome talks with the Saudi-led coalition if the venue is a neutral country, including some Gulf states, and that the priority is lifting "arbitrary" restrictions on Yemeni ports and Sanaa airport.

The Saudi-based Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) plans to invite Yemeni parties including the Houthis for consultations in Riyadh this month, two Gulf officials told Reuters on Tuesday.

"It is neither logical nor fair that the host of the talks is also the sponsor of war and blockade," the Iran-aligned movement said in a statement on the official news agency.

Riyadh leads a military coalition that has been battling the Houthis for seven years in a conflict widely seen in the region as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.