Yemen's Hadi calls on Houthis to come to negotiating table to end war
Yemen’s exiled President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi called on rival Houthi rebels to begin negotiations to reach a settlement to end the seven-year civil war.
“Return as a Yemeni political component that adheres to national constants, and come to the dialogue table to make peace,” Hadi made the call in a statement on Monday, according to state news agency Saba.
“Our hands stretch out to you for reaching a just and comprehensive peace and rebuilding our country,” he added, urging that the current ceasefire is a chance for all Yemenis to pave the way for “permanent peace”.
Hadi made these remarks during a meeting with his government’s ministers in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, where he resides.
Yemen's warring parties laid down their weapons for the first nationwide truce since 2016 on Saturday.
The Iran-backed Houthi rebels and Saudi-led coalition agreed to observe the two-month truce, which took effect on the first day of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan.
"The two-month truce started at 7:00 pm (1600 GMT) tonight. As of tonight, all offensive ground, aerial and naval military operations should cease," UN special envoy Hans Grundberg said in a statement.
Yemen's intractable war has killed hundreds of thousands directly or indirectly and displaced millions, triggering the world's worst humanitarian crisis, according to the United Nations.
Both sides have already accused each other of violating the truce.
"The truce has been greatly welcomed, but it is threatened by Houthi’s breaches including military deployments, mobilization of troops & vehicles, artillery and drone strikes. This requires the international community to preserve what has been achieved", Yemen's foreign minister Ahmed bin Mubarak tweeted on Monday tagging the UN Special Envoy to Yemen and the US State Department.
The Houthis did not directly respond to the claims, their media channels also reported alleged "breaches", but by pro-government troops, on Sunday and Monday.
Previous ceasefires have been ineffective. A national truce ahead of peace talks in April 2016 was violated almost immediately, as were other ceasefires that year.
The first fuels shipment to the rebel-held area of Hodeida, a lifeline for Yemen, was allowed through as part of the truce despite a 2018 agreement to cease hostilities around the port being largely ignored.