Yemenis hailed a U.N.-brokered nationwide ceasefire set to take effect on Saturday evening as a ray of hope in a country wrecked by a seven-year conflict that has pushed millions into poverty and homelessness.
Yemenis, on the other hand, have greeted the news with caution following multiple failed attempts at reconciliation and more than a year of rising conflict.
“The truce is excellent, but I don’t believe it will hold because each side will have a different vision of how to apply it, and it will collapse,” said Murad Abdullah, a 38-year-old electrician in Aden, Yemen’s interim capital.
The two-month cease-fire, which begins with the start of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, is the first national cease-fire between the warring parties since 2016.
Ibtihal al-Arashi, a government employee, saw the agreement as just temporary, citing the failure of previous Ramadan peace efforts. “We want to put a stop to this ridiculous conflict. We want genuine peace in a civic state that safeguards human rights and liberties “she stated
The truce was set to start at 7:00 p.m. local time (1600 GMT) and could be extended.
The agreement calls for a halt to aggressive military actions, including cross-border raids, as well as the import of fuel into areas controlled by the Iran-aligned Houthi group and the operating of some commercial aircraft from Sanaa, the Houthi-held capital.
Yemen’s waters and air space are controlled by a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia, which intervened in March 2015 in support of the Yemeni government against the Houthis.
Customers at a bustling Sanaa market were overjoyed by the prospect of real development after years of misery.
“This cease-fire is a fantastic thing, but we’ll have to wait and see how it’s implemented… If the strikes on Sanaa end, the airport reopens, and the port of Hodeidah reopens, we will believe there is a truce in place “a government employee, Najeeb al-Bashiri, said
Hans Grundberg, the United Nations’ special envoy, has stated that a durable ceasefire will be pursued.
Yemen envoys from the United Nations and the United States have been seeking since last year to broker a sustainable cease-fire in order to restart stalled political talks. The Houthis demanded that the coalition blockade be lifted first, while the alliance demanded a deal at the same time.
The Norwegian Refugee Council, a humanitarian organisation active in Yemen, said, “We applaud this critical step for millions of Yemenis who need a reprieve after years of unremitting fighting.” “We sincerely believe this is the beginning of a new era.”
The conflict is largely regarded as a proxy war between Shi’ite Iran and Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia.
Iran said on Saturday that it believed the cease-fire would signal the end of the blockade and the start of a lasting cease-fire.