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UN: Yemen's Warring Sides Resume Talks on Ending Houthi Siege on Taiz

UN: Yemen's Warring Sides Resume Talks on Ending Houthi Siege on Taiz

Monday, 6 June, 2022 - 05:15
A man walks past buildings damaged by war in Taiz, Yemen May 20, 2022. Picture taken May 20, 2022. (Reuters)

Yemen’s warring parties resumed talks Sunday on reopening roads in Taiz and other provinces, the United Nations said, after they agreed to renew a nationwide ceasefire.

The UN mission to Yemen said delegations from the legitimate government and Iran-backed Houthi militias began their second round of direct discussion in the Jordanian capital of Amman. The mission did not provide further details.

The two sides did not reach an agreement on lifting the militias' blockade of Taiz, Yemen’s third largest city, in their first round of talks late last month.

Reopening the roads around Taiz and elsewhere in Yemen is part of a truce the UN brokered early in April. It was the first nationwide ceasefire in in six years in Yemen’s conflict, now in its eighth year.

The Houthis have imposed a siege on government-held city of Taiz, the capital of the province by the same name, since March 2016.

The two sides agreed on Thursday to extend the truce for more two months.

The legitimate government warned against "Houthi ploys that would thwart the UN efforts" and attempt to shirk truce commitments.

Head of the government negotiations team at the Amman talks, Abdul Karim Shiban warned that any Houthi attempt to impose a "unilateral vision would be deemed a violation of the essence of the ongoing discussions, impede UN humanitarian efforts and reveal the militias' prior intentions to avoid the truce commitments."

In a statement, he said the government team was "surprised by Houthi media reports that the militias were seeking to open a unknown dirt road" leading to Taiz, "in a flagrant attempt to abort the UN efforts and undermine the ongoing consultations."

A Yemeni official told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Houthis have yet to show any willingness to commit to the truce.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, he added that the Houthis are continuing to hinder the reopening of roads by making "vague suggestions with the aim of buying time."

"The government won't wait long and we expect a clear stance from the UN envoy," he stated.

Shiban called on UN special envoy Hans Grundberg to quickly assume his legal, moral and humanitarian responsibilities and stand against "blatant Houthi games" and pressure the militias to stop such farces and respect the ongoing UN-sponsored discussions.

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