Start of cessation of hostilities in Yemen


UN envoy welcomes the start of cessation of hostilities in Yemen

UN Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, briefs the media. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

11 April 2016 – The United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen has welcomed the start of the cessation of hostilities that began at midnight, 10 April, urging all parties to work to ensure that the terms are fully respected and create a conducive environment for the peace talks scheduled to resume next week.

In a statement, the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, highlighted that the terms and conditions for the cessation of hostilities include commitments for the unhindered access for humanitarian supplies and personnel to all parts of Yemen.

“Both sides have committed to adhere to the Terms and Conditions for the cessation of hostilities which I presented,” said the Special Envoy. “I ask all the parties and the international community to remain steadfast in support for this cessation of hostilities to be a first step in Yemen's return to peace. This is critical, urgent and much needed. Yemen cannot afford the loss of more lives.”

Mr. Ould Cheikh Ahmed noted that the De-escalation and Co-ordination Committee has been reconvened in Kuwait and will work to bolster adherence to the cessation of hostilities. The Committee, comprising military representatives from both sides, recently concluded a capacity-building exercise conducted by experts from the European Union, he said.

“Much work lies ahead to ensure full respect of the cessation of hostilities and the resumption of peace talks in Kuwait. Now is the time to step back from the brink. The progress made represents a real opportunity to rebuild a country that has suffered far too much violence for far too long,” added the Special Envoy. “A positive outcome will require difficult compromises from all sides, courage and determination to reach an agreement.”

Preparations are currently well under way for the start of the intra-Yemeni peace talks, to be held under the auspices of the UN. The talks will focus on five main areas: the withdrawal of militias and armed groups; the handover of heavy weapons to the State; interim security arrangements; the restoration of state institutions and the resumption of inclusive political dialogue; and the creation of a special committee for prisoners and detainees.