UN Presents Yemen Gov’t, Houthis with Plan for Nationwide Truce
Martin Griffiths, the United Nations special envoy for Yemen, has presented a proposal for a cease-fire, as well as humanitarian assistance and ways to move toward peace talks that could end the country’s years-long civil war. “We have seen significant progress on these negotiations, in particular with respect to the national, nationwide cease-fire,” Griffiths said in remarks prepared for members of the UN Security Council. “However, the cease-fire is part of the broader package that needs to be agreed in full. And differences remain on some of the humanitarian and economic measures in that package.” The plan focuses on the besieged government and Iran-backed Houthi rebels, who dislodged the government from the capital Sanaa in 2015. The resulting war has claimed tens of thousands of lives and left the country on the brink of a major humanitarian disaster. Griffiths’s proposals apparently do not focus on re-emerging tensions between the government and southern secessionists, which have been allies against the Houthis but now are fighting over demands that the country be re-split in two. International health bodies worry that the overall instability in the country makes it fertile ground for a major outbreak of the deadly coronavirus.