Saudi regime officially declares end of Yemen truce
The Saudi regime has officially declared the end of a shaky truce brokered by the United Nations that was meant to end the war on Yemen.
The truce was declared void at 14:00 local time (1100 GMT) on Saturday, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported. The announcement is a major setback to attempts for peace.
Agreement on the ceasefire came on December 15 in Switzerland’s northern village of Magglingen.
The SPA said Riyadh is still “keen to create the right conditions to find a peaceful solution.”
More than 7,500 people have been killed in Saudi airstrikes on Yemen since Riyadh launched its campaign on March 26, 2015.
Since the ceasefire took effect, it was violated almost on a daily basis, with Yemenis blaming Saudi Arabia for the breaches. The incidents of breaching the truce have also worried the UN.
Ismail Ould Sheikh Ahmad, the UN special envoy for Yemen, who personally mediated the peace talks in Switzerland, has voiced deep concern at “numerous reports of violations of the cessation of hostilities.”
From the beginning of the Yemen peace talks in the Swiss village, Saudi warplanes continued combat sorties targeting positions of Houthis in the northern and western parts of Yemen. Representatives of the Houthis in the talks warned the UN over the issue.
Militants loyal to the regime in Riyadh, who also support Yemen’s fugitive former President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, also took advantage of the ceasefire to advance against the Houthis and seized control of two major cities north of the country during the negotiations.