United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Thursday said that warring factions in Yemen have agreed to a ceasefire in the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, Reuters reported. A pro-government alliance, led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, have been fighting the Iranian-backed Shiite rebels in 2016, and Hodeida city is their latest battleground. Hodeida is a key entry point for imported food and aid.
The groups concerned had been in Rimbo village of Sweden for a week for peace negotiations led by the United Nations. The United Nations chief said the deal included the deployment of neutral forces to the region and the setting up of humanitarian corridors. Stakeholders will discuss a political framework in the next round of meetings scheduled for January.
The United Nations has described the war in Yemen as “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis”, with close to 75% of the country’s population requiring some form of humanitarian assistance and protection.
In October, the international organisation had warned that Yemen could face the worst famine in a century if the Saudi Arabia-led coalition did not stop airstrikes, The Guardian reported. UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, Lise Grande, told the BBC that 12 to 13 million civilians could starve to death.
On October 30, United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had called on all participants to end hostilities in Yemen.