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Yemenis Mull Extending Truce or Returning to War

Yemenis Mull Extending Truce or Returning to War

Tuesday, 24 May, 2022 - 05:00
An explosive devices is removed by members of Yemen's legitimate government forces search for a house in the village of Hays in Yemen's western province of Hodeidah, On May 23, 2022. (AFP)

The two-month nationwide truce in Yemen is set to end on June 2 with officials mulling the possibility of extending the ceasefire.

Observers believe a return to war would be costly, while also warning that extending the truce while failing to implement its stipulations may demand greater pressure on the concerned parties to reach the desired peace.

Politician Lutfi Numan said the legitimate authority is obligated to extend the truce and ease the suffering of the people.

At the same time, the truce will pressure the parties that are seeking to exploit it to up their demands and conditions, he told Asharq Al-Awsat.

The Presidential Leadership Council is being patient and awaiting the other side - meaning the Iran-backed Houthi militias - as it delays and shirks obligations, he remarked.

"All options are open" should the truce not be extended, he added.

"There are limits to the patience shown by the legitimate state towards the militias," he stressed.

Political analyst Abdullah Ismail noted that the extension of the truce will be a "reward" to the Houhis for failing to implement none of its articles.

He said the legitimate authorities should not agree to an extension if serious steps to implement it are not made.

Moreover, he stated that the legitimate authorities have made humanitarian concessions towards the Yemenis, while the Houthis have not been responsive. Rather, they view these concessions as major victories.

"This futile scene should not be repeated during the next truce," he urged.

"The legitimacy should not take another move or agree to the extension without perceiving a clear and real desire - not just empty promises - to implement the truce by the other side," he added.

Head of the Marib-based Al-Belaad Center for Studies Hussein al-Soufi was skeptical that the truce had fulfilled its purpose, citing the daily reports of violations.

He told Asharq Al-Awsat: "This wasn't a real truce. Rockets were being fired against civilians, snipers were active and the Taiz siege hasn't been lifted."

"The ball is now in the legitimate authorities' court. They should adopt a firmer and harsher approach that saves the Yemeni people and sets matters straight, because more concessions give the Houthis further motivation to continue their terrorist practices," he warned.

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