UN Envoy Seeks Expansion of Truce To Help End War In Yemen

The UN Special Envoy to Yemen Hans Grundberg said that he plans to expand the possibilities of a longer and expanded truce with warring parties in order to reach a political solution to the war in Yemen.

Grundberg said an extension could be a good step in moving toward a cease-fire in the country´s eight-year civil war, but did not provide details on the length of expunction of truce

The ongoing four months UN-brokered ceasefire would expire on August 2, with Grundberg making efforts for its renewal.

“To date, the truce has been holding for over three months.  It has resulted in a significant reduction in civilian casualties, with the number of civilian casualties reduced by two thirds compared to the three months before the truce began,” Grundberg told the U.N. Security Council.

Grundberg said that due to the sharp decline in hostilities, conflict-related civilian casualties are now mostly due to landmines and unexploded ordnance, which continue to pose a threat to civilians, including children, as they return to areas where hostilities have decreased.

“Renewing the ceasefire would provide time and the opportunity to start serious discussions on Yemen’s economy and security,” Grundberg added, saying that he is also engaged with parties to show flexibility in order to reach a longer ceasefire.

The truce between Yemen´s internationally recognized government and Iranian-backed Houthi rebels took effect on April 2 and was extended on June 2.

“We continue to receive reports from both sides about alleged incidents inside Yemen, including direct and indirect fire, drone attacks, reconnaissance overflights, and the establishment of new fortifications and trenches,” Grundberg added.

Grundberg reiterated that extension of the truce represents the best opportunity for peace in Yemen, calling on the warring parties to make the most of this opportunity for the benefit of Yemen as a whole.

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