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Rescuers, mostly neighbors and local men, attempt to dig a family out of a collapsed home after a Saudi-led arirstrike in the old city of Sanaa, Yemen on Friday, June 12, 2015 (AP Photo/Alex Potter)
Image: AP Photo/A. Potter

UN announces week-long humanitarian truce in Yemen

July 9, 2015

The United Nations has announced an unconditional ceasefire in Yemen starting at midnight on Friday. The UN has urged all parties to commit to the week-long humanitarian pause and allow the delivery of aid into Yemen.


Stephane Dujarric, a UN spokesman, said Thursday that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had received assurances from Yemen's exiled president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, and Shiite Houthi rebels for the ceasefire until the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

"We feel we have the expressions necessary by all parties to announce the start of this pause on Friday," Dujarric said.

The UN spokesman said it was "imperative and urgent that humanitarian aid can reach all vulnerable people of Yemen unimpeded and through an unconditional humanitarian pause."

"The Secretary-General looks forward to the commitments of all parties to the conflict in Yemen to an unconditional humanitarian pause to start on Friday, July 10, at 23:59 (2059 UTC) until the end of Ramadan (July 17)," Dujarric said.

A five-day humanitarian truce in May was largely observed by all parties.

"A humanitarian pause means no fighting. It means no bombing. It means no shooting. It means no fighting. It means exactly that," said the spokesman.

A Saudi-led coalition of Arab states launched an air campaign against the Houthis on March 26. Riyadh accuses Tehran of backing the rebels, who have made significant territorial gains in the impoverished Middle Eastern country, capturing the capital Sanaa and ousting internationally recognized President Hadi, who fled Yemen in March.

Over 3,000 people have been killed and over a million displaced since the start of the conflict. More than 21 million people - over 80 percent of Yemen's population - are in urgent need of aid, and some 9.4 million Yemenis have problems accessing water, the UN said.

Violence rages on in Yemen

Meanwhile, fighting continued in Yemen on Thursday as pro-Hadi militiamen attacked Houthi checkpoints in the southern Abyan province, killing at least 15 rebels.

Coalition fighter planes also killed 17 rebels in the port city of Aden on Thursday, pro-Hadi military sources claimed.

On Tuesday, a car bomb was detonated near a hospital and a mosque in the capital Sanaa, killing many people. At least ten people died in an explosion in al Bayda the same day.

shs/kms (Reuters, AP, AFP)

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