Deadline for truce in Yemen draws near as wait for peace drags on

“I strongly urge the Yemeni parties not only to renew but also to extend the terms and duration of the truce”

As the deadline for a ceasefire in war-torn Yemen approaches, civilians are hoping the truce will be extended – fearing that further fighting could wipe out the small gains made.

In Sanaa, the rebel-held capital, Loujain al-Ouazir, an agriculture graduate, has worked for three years raising goats and poultry on a farm atop one of the iconic mud-brick tower houses. of the ancient city.

Ouazir has only managed to make the farm prosper in recent months, as the truce has allowed goods to move more freely and lowered the price of supplies.

“Thanks to the truce, feed and fuel prices have come down,” Ouazir said.

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The war in Yemen between Houthi rebels backed by Iran and a Saudi-led coalition has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and created what the United Nations calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

A twice-brokered, UN-brokered ceasefire that came into effect in April has reduced casualties by 60% and quadrupled fuel imports into the rebel-held port of Hodeidah, officials said on Thursday. more than 40 humanitarian groups.

The truce has largely held, although rival parties have blamed each other for the violations and which the Houthis say are at “an impasse”.

On Friday, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called on each side to extend the ceasefire.

“I strongly urge the Yemeni parties not only to renew but also to extend the terms and duration of the truce,” his spokesman said in a statement.

The following day, Saturday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud to discuss the imminent expiration of the truce.

“The Secretary welcomed Saudi Arabia’s commitment to extending the truce,” the US State Department said in a statement.

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