UN envoy calls for extension and expansion of ‘transformational’ truce in Yemen
UN Envoy Grundberg on truce implementation & prospects of renewal: “The Yemeni people & the international community want & expect the truce to be fully implemented, renewed & strengthened. The parties must rise to the occasion & not miss this opportunity" https://t.co/5qsGeuO5bC
— @OSE_Yemen (@OSE_Yemen) July 21, 2022
Rise to the occasion
“The Yemeni people and the international community want and expect the truce to be fully implemented, renewed and strengthened,” he said.
“I hope the parties will engage constructively with my efforts and recognise the gains that an extended and expanded truce can deliver to Yemeni people. They must rise to the occasion and not miss this opportunity.”
The truce was first announced in April for two months, and was renewed in June, marking the longest period of relative calm in more than seven years of conflict, and a significant decrease in the number of civilian casualties.
However, both sides have raised concerns about alleged violations and incidents across multiple frontlines.
“The warring parties have obligations under international humanitarian law to protect civilians. I take reports of military escalation very seriously, especially when it involves civilian casualties,” said Mr, Grundberg.
The Office of the Special Envoy is working through the Military Coordination Committee to facilitate dialogue and support de-escalation. “I hope the parties will continue their work under the committee and establish the joint coordination room to address incidents in a timely manner,” he added.
Road blocks remain
Mr. Grundberg also provided an update on the key issue of roads. At the outset of negotiations, both parties put forward proposals on opening roads in Taiz and other governorates, which he described as a positive sign of their willingness to engage.
The latest UN proposal called for three roads put forward by the Houthis, officially known as Ansar Allah, and one advocated by civil society. The Government accepted the proposal and the Houthis rejected it. Recently, the parties have announced unilateral plans.
Mr. Grundberg stressed that unilateral actions alone are not enough to ensure civilians can safely travel along roads that cross frontlines under the control of different parties.
“I will not stop pursuing my efforts to bring the parties closer together to reach agreement to sustainably and safely open key roads in Taiz and other governorates. This will remain a priority for this truce period and any future extension of it.”