Published: Fri, November 16, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Battle in Yemen pauses for peace talks

Battle in Yemen pauses for peace talks

As the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) prepares to ramp up aid to Yemen, in the face of the world's worst humanitarian crisis, David Beasley, Executive-Director of the agency, issued a heartfelt plea for all warring parties to end "this terrible war". The United States has called for a ceasefire and talks on ending the war while Britain has said it is preparing a Security Council draft resolution that would pave the way to peace talks.

The Yemeni Congregation for reform, known as Al Islah Party, supported all Arab Coalition efforts for ending the Iran-backed Houthi insurgency in Yemen during meetings with UAE officials in Abu Dhabi.

Analysts say that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which is leading operations on the southern and western coast of Yemen, want to exit what has become a costly quagmire, but that any peace talks will have to overcome deep mistrust among all parties.

Hunt's remarks were considered as a sign of possible breakthrough in the Yemeni conflict.

A coalition spokesman did not immediately respond to a Reuters' request for comment.

According to the UN's office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Tuesday, 34 people were killed among 92 civilian casualties in the first week of November in Hodeidah province. The UN aid agencies have recorded about 445,000 internally-displaced people who fled the escalating fighting in Hodeidah since June.

The UN envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, welcomed the reduction of clashes and said it was a "crucial step" to prevent further humanitarian suffering.

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AP reported that an informal agreement to reduce hostilities in and around Hodeidah had taken hold in the last two days, in what could be a prelude to peace talks.

"The logistical preparations are under way for the upcoming round of consultations".

However, neither the Houthis nor the Yemeni government made any statement on the temporary ceasefire in Hodeidah.

"This shows that the humanitarian aid that comes to Yemen does not reach people who really need it. Distribution remains random", said his doctor, Amen al-Asli. The port was still operating normally. The Houthis went on to seize vast territories in the northwest of the country, occupying the Yemeni capital of Sanaa.

"The Saudi-led Coalition have agreed to the evacuation of wounded Houthis from Yemen, one of the key stumbling blocks to the UN Geneva talks in September".

Global aid groups have warned a full-scale assault on Hodeidah, which handles 80 percent of the impoverished country's food imports and aid supplies, would risk triggering a starvation.

The Yemeni government sees the capture of Hodeidah as a potential major victory in the four-year-long civil war, as the loser of the battle is likely to be forced to sit down at the negotiation table.

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