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Grundberg in Riyadh to Discuss Expanding Yemen Truce

Grundberg in Riyadh to Discuss Expanding Yemen Truce

Tuesday, 27 September, 2022 - 05:15
United Nations envoy to Yemen Hans Grundberg. (AFP file)

United Nations envoy to Yemen Hans Grunberg arrived in Riyadh on Monday as part of efforts to expand the truce in the war-torn country.

The nationwide truce is set to expire on October 2. It was first adopted in April and has since been twice renewed for a two-month period each time.

Official sources said Saudi Ambassador to Yemen Mohammed bin Saeed Al-Jaber met with Grundberg on Monday.

Jaber stressed Saudi Arabia’s support to the UN’s efforts to expand the truce with the aim of reaching a comprehensive ceasefire and political solution.

Grundberg had suggested to the Yemeni government and Iran-backed Houthis four proposals to expand and improve the truce, including extending it for more than two months at a time.

He has yet to receive responses to his proposals.

In his latest statements, he remarked that results cannot be reached “if there is no political will on the part of the Yemeni parties, and this is necessary for success.”

The Yemeni Presidential Leadership Council and government are not opposed to making concessions that will favor people living in areas controlled by the Houthis, however, the militias’ failure to commit to their pledges regarding the reopening of routes to besieged Taiz city remain a main obstacle in the extension of any truce.

The Houthis, for their part, continue to impose new conditions with the aim of achieving political and economic gains. They have already exploited the truce to loot resources and oil derivatives revenues at Hodeidah port and recruit new fighters.

Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdulsalam Flita recently suggested that the militias may impede Grundberg’s latest proposals if Sanaa International Airport is not reopened without any restrictions.

He also suggested that the UN monitoring mechanism at Hodeidah port be removed.

The Yemeni government estimates that the Houthis managed in the past six months to reap 200 billion rials (a dollar is worth around 560 rials in militia-held regions) from oil derivatives revenues at Hodeidah port.

These funds have all gone towards the militias’ military efforts and recruitment of new fighters in preparation of a new round of fighting.

Moreover, the army has accused the Houthis of committing thousands of violations of the truce that have killed and injured around 1,200 civilians and soldiers.

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