The UN-backed ceasefire between Shi’ite Houthi rebels in Yemen and the Saudi-led coalition supporting government forces came into force in Yemen from midnight of 10 April 2016. All the sides have promised to stick to the ceasefire deal.
Saudi-led coalition supporting government forces said, it will respect the ceasefire but reserves the right to respond to any rebel attacks.
Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, who seized much of Yemen in 2014 including the capital Sanaa, have also said they will respect the truce.
The truce is aimed at giving a boost to the peace talks scheduled for 18 April 2016 in Kuwait, where the rebels will discuss the peace terms with the government of internationally recognised President Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi.
Further it seeks to allow the resumption of inclusive political dialogue in line with UN Security Council resolution 2216 (2015) and other relevant Council resolutions.
A year of conflict in Yemen
More than 6000 people have been killed and 2 million were displaced in more than a year of fighting between the two sides. A further 20 people were reportedly killed in clashes on 10 April 2016, hours before the truce was due to come into effect.
As per United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) reports, a year of conflict in Yemen has left an estimated 3.4 million women of reproductive age between 15 and 49 years in need of humanitarian assistance.
Of these 500000 are pregnant and will give birth within the next nine months. But, the lack of reproductive health services and supplies can lead to an estimated 1000 maternal deaths among 68000 pregnant women. These 68000 women are at the risk of life-threatening complications during childbirth.
Comment and Analysis
Ongoing Yemeni civil war (from 2015 to present) may be termed as Saudi-Iran proxy war. This conflict is different from all previous conflicts in Yemen’s history, as this war is not contained to any particular region but has extended from border to border as well as center, as the capital city has been lost by government and at present is in the hands of Houthis, also known as the Ansarallah.
This conflict can be ended and the peace talks can provide a political solution to it only if the international community pressures the parties involved in the war to reach peace. International community pressure is needed because limiting the negotiations to the rebels and government will not help in lasting the resolution, if any, that will be reached in Kuwait.
A durable solution should incorporate the involvement of all parties, including civil society.
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