Salem Radio Network News Wednesday, September 28, 2022

World

Yemen’s Houthis must act on Taiz to show commitment to truce, minister says

By Suleiman Al-Khalidi

AMMAN (Reuters) -Yemen’s internationally recognised government accused the Iran-aligned Houthi movement on Monday of failing to reopen roads to the besieged city of Taiz, a key element of a truce agreed between them.

Yemen’s warring parties, which have traded accusations of non-compliance with the two-month U.N.-brokered truce, agreed last week to renew it for a further two months.

They are under international pressure to agree on an extended and expanded deal that would build on the longest stretch of relative calm in over seven years of conflict.

Foreign Minister Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak said his Aden-based, Saudi-backed government supported any move to expand the truce to a lasting peace.

“(But) there is a main issue in the truce terms that have not been abided by completely which is opening roads on the besieged cities of Taiz and other provinces,” he told a news conference.

Around four and a half million people were impacted by the Houthi siege of Taiz where the militia were accused of planting landmines around the city, bin Mubarak added.

“Taiz is a test of real peace,” he added.

The truce that began in April saw a halt to major military operations in Yemen and cross-border attacks in the seven-year war between a Saudi-led coalition and the Houthi group, and helped ease a humanitarian crisis that has left millions hungry.

Bin Mubarak said although the Houthis were running away from their commitments in a “fragile ceasefire” and did not stop military attacks, the truce offered a glimmer of hope.

“There are big violations in a fragile ceasefire..We don’t want the truce to be a break for a bigger war,” bin Mubarak later told state-owned Mamlaka television.

The Houthis have in turn accused the government of failing to deliver an agreed number of fuel ships into the port city of Hodeidah and allow a quota of flights to leave and land at Sanaa, both of which are held by the group.

Bin Mubarak said the Houthis were illegally laying their hands on $1.3 billion in revenues from seizing key resources and port taxes and refused to hand over state assets.

The U.N. had wanted an expanded truce that would offer a mechanism to pay public sector salaries, the opening of roads, expanded flights from Sanaa and regular flow of fuel to Hodeidah.

The U.N. is also pushing for a permanent ceasefire to enable the resumption of talks for a sustainable political resolution.

(Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Alistair Bell)

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