Yemen to have 'peace' for three days this week

Yemen to have 'peace' for three days this week
The UN has announced a 72-hour truce in Yemen which will begin on Thursday following an earlier acceptance of a ceasefire plan by President Hadi.
2 min read
18 October, 2016
The truce will bring peace to more than 20 million Yemenis across the nation [AFP]

A three-day ceasefire in Yemen will begin on Thursday, the UN has announced, which it is hoped will provide some relief for the millions of Yemenis affected by bombing and sieges.

The 72-hour ceasefire will go into effect on Thursday, the United Nations announced on Monday, and continue until the end of the Yemeni weekend.

A cessation of hostilities that fist went into effect in April "will re-enter into force at 23:59 Yemen time (2059 GMT) on 19 October 2016, for an initial period of 72 hours, subject to renewal," the UN's special envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, said in a statement.

Just hours earlier, Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansoor Hadi agreed to the 72-hour ceasefire, a day after calls for a truce from the government's allies.

"The president agreed to a 72 [hours] ceasefire to be extended if the other party adheres to it", Abdulmalik al-Mikhlafi said on Twitter.

On Sunday, the US, UK and UN urged Yemen's warring parties in the country's civil war to declare a ceasefire within days.

"This is the time to implement a ceasefire unconditionally and then move to the negotiating table," US Secretary of State John Kerry said after high-level diplomatic talks in London.

Kerry was speaking after meeting UN peace envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed and his opposite numbers from the UK, Saudi Arabia and the UAE - another big player in the anti-Houthi Arab coalition.

"We are here to call for an immediate cessation of hostilities, which will be declared in the next few hours," said UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed.

The top US diplomat said he, UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Cheikh Ahmed are calling for the ceasefire to begin "as rapidly as possible, meaning Monday, Tuesday".

The conflict in Yemen has killed more than 10,000 people and displaced at least three million since March last year, according to the United Nations.

A fragile ceasefire was implemented ahead of peace negotiations in April this year.

The Kuwait-based talks ran for two months but ended without a resolution to the conflict as tensions increased between the warring factions.