Yemen’s Houthis halt missile attacks on Saudi Arabia, UAE, say ready for peace

Published 19.11.2018 01:07
Updated 19.11.2018 01:11
emAFP Photo/em
AFP Photo

Yemen's Houthi movement said on Sunday it was halting drone and missile attacks on Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and their Yemeni allies, responding to a demand from the United Nations.

International pressure has mounted on Yemen's warring parties to end the war that has killed more than 10,000 people and pushed the country to the verge of starvation.

The move from the Houthi group came after the Saudi-led coalition ordered a halt in its offensive against Yemen's main port city Hodeidah, which has become the focus of the war.

"After our contacts with the U.N. envoy and his request to stop drone and missile strikes ... We announce our initiative ... to halt missile and drone strikes on the countries of aggression," Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, the head of the Houthis' Supreme Revolutionary Committee, said in a statement.

U.N. special envoy Martin Griffiths is trying to salvage peace talks after a round in September collapsed when the Houthis did not show up. He hopes to convene talks before the end of the year in Sweden to agree a framework for peace under a transitional government.

The Iranian-aligned group which has been battling the Saudi-backed government for more nearly four years added it was ready for a broader ceasefire if "the Saudi-led coalition wants peace."

The World Health Organization estimates nearly 10,000 people have been killed since 2015, when Saudi Arabia and its allies joined the government's war against the Houthis, driving the insurgents from the Red Sea coastline but failing to retake Hodeida.

Other rights groups believe the toll may be five times as high.

The conflict has triggered what the U.N. calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with 14 million Yemenis at risk of starvation.

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