UN envoy warns armed confrontation in central Yemen threaten ceasefire
ADEN, Yemen, April 15 (Xinhua) -- The UN Special Envoy for Yemen warned that armed confrontation in the country's oil-rich central province of Marib between the Houthi group and Yemeni government threaten the two-month ceasefire brokered by the United Nations.
Hans Grundberg made the remarks in a statement on Thursday when he briefed the UN Security Council after his first visit to Sanaa, the Houthi-held capital of Yemen.
He said that the two-month ceasefire that began on April 2 provided "light at the end of the tunnel" for the Arab country ravaged by protracted internal conflict.
The agreement remains intact and "offers a moment of respite for Yemenis and a moment of possibility for pursuing peace. But it requires continued commitment from the parties and broad support from the region and the international community to make sure it holds and becomes a turning point toward peace," said Grundberg.
Since the start of Ramadan, the country's warring sides agreed to implement a UN-brokered cease-fire that was meant to last two months.
The truce includes the end to all ground, aerial and naval military offensive operations across Yemen and its borders. However, the Yemeni government and Houthi rebel militia have repeatedly exchanged accusations of breaching the ceasefire since it started.
Yemen has been mired in a civil war since late 2014, when the Iran-backed Houthi militia seized control of several northern provinces and forced the Saudi-backed government out of Sanaa.
According to the UN, the war has killed tens of thousands of people, displaced 4 million and pushed the country to the brink of starvation.