In Yemen torn apart by seven years of war, a two-month truce in fighting has entered into force: this was announced by UN envoy Hans Grundberg. “The two-month truce went into effect at 7pm (6pm Italian time) tonight. From tonight, all offensive military operations on land, air and naval should cease,” Grundberg added in a statement.
This is the first truce in all of Yemen since 2016, is sponsored by the United Nations and has obtained the support of both the pro-Iranian Shiite Houthi rebels and the Saudi-led coalition and enters into force on the first day of Ramadan, the holy month. of Islamic fasting. So far all the ceasefires had fallen on deaf ears: the last in 2018 provided for the cessation of hostilities around the port of Hodeida, vital for supplying the very poor Yemeni population reduced to starvation and disease, but was almost completely ignored. This new one comes after a period of intensification of the fighting, but also of intense diplomatic activity, with negotiations underway in Riyadh, where however the Houthis have not shown up so far. But now there are elements of a breakthrough. At the port of Hodeida, in the hands of the rebels, if the truce holds, the arrival of 18 tankers is expected to deliver fuel, while two flights a day arriving and departing are allowed from the airport of the capital Sanaa, also in hand to the Houthis, who have obtained these two results requested by them as a precondition for starting negotiations.
In recent months, the Houthis have taken advantage of the stalemate in military operations on the ground to launch drone attacks on Saudi Arabia and its main ally, the Arab Emirates, especially against infrastructure and oil facilities. Attacks to which the coalition responded with air strikes.
The war began in 2014 when Shia rebels took control of Sanaa, sparking intervention by neighboring Saudi Arabia and allies in March 2015. Since then it is estimated that more than 110,000 people have died, there are 4.2 million displaced. and 80% of the population of 30 million dependent on humanitarian aid.