Accessibility links

UN-brokered Cease-fire Begins in Yemen

  • VOA News

FILE - Tribesmen loyal to Houthi rebels hold their weapons and chant slogans during a gathering aimed at mobilizing more fighters into battlefronts in several Yemeni cities in Sana'a, Oct. 2, 2016.

FILE - Tribesmen loyal to Houthi rebels hold their weapons and chant slogans during a gathering aimed at mobilizing more fighters into battlefronts in several Yemeni cities in Sana'a, Oct. 2, 2016.

A cease-fire brokered by the United Nations went into effect in war-ravaged Yemen late Wednesday.

The U.N. hopes the break will allow humanitarian workers to deliver badly needed aid and pave the way for peace talks.

It's set to last "an initial period of 72 hours" but can be renewed.

The deal followed days of military escalation in northern Yemen, where Saudi-backed rebel forces accelerated their push into the Houthi stronghold of Saada.

The war in Yemen began in 2014 when Shi'ite rebels known as Houthis based in the north seized the capital, Sana'a, and later swept across much of the poor Arabian Peninsula country.

In March 2015, Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies launched a campaign of airstrikes against the rebels. This is the sixth attempt to end the bloodshed.

The U.N. estimates that 4,000 civilians have been killed since the war escalated in March 2015 — the majority of those by Saudi-led airstrikes.

"We ask the parties to take all steps necessary to advance the implementation of this cessation, call on them to sustain it, and strongly encourage its unconditional renewal," U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said. "We note again that peaceful resolution of this conflict requires compromises and commitments by everyone."

XS
SM
MD
LG