Yemen's President Hadi agrees to three day truce

Yemen's President Hadi agrees to three day truce
Yemen's President Abd Rabbo Mansoor Hadi agreed to a 72-hour truce just a day after the US, UN and UK urged warring factions to end the conflict.
2 min read
17 October, 2016
The president agreed to the truce just hours after Saudi Arabia announced its willingness [AFP]

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

The truce - should the opposing Houthi rebels agree to it - could be extended further, Yemen's foreign minister added, and might be a first step on a road to peace.

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

Just hours earlier, Saudi Arabia - which leads the Arab coalition supporting the Yemeni government - said it is willing to reach a ceasefire agreement if Houthi rebels also agree.

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.