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Yemen peace talks to resume in Kuwait after 3 days: UN

4 May 2016 15:34



The UN says peace talks between Yemen’s warring sides will resume in Kuwait on Wednesday, three days after delegates loyal to Saudi-backed leader Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi abandoned them. 

“Participants will meet… on Wednesday in a plenary session to follow up with the agreed agenda,” UN special envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said.

The talks were halted on Sunday after the Saudi-backed representatives suspended their participation in protest at Ansarullah movement’s recent takeover of a military base in the northwestern Amran Province.

Ahmed said the committee monitoring the country’s ceasefire would submit a report in 72 hours about recent fighting in the country and recommendations to both sides.

Peace talks began on April 21 in Kuwait City, with both sides holding face-to-face meetings to find a political solution to months of clashes in the impoverished Arab country and establish peace.

Yemen has seen almost daily military attacks by Saudi Arabia since late March 2015, with domestic sources putting the toll from the bloody aggression at more than 9,500.

Houthi leader Abdel Malek al-Houthi on Tuesday accused the Saudi-backed opposition of stonewalling peace efforts and not abiding by the truce.

He said a political solution to the Yemen conflict is close at hand, but the obstinacy of the invading countries is an impediment to that goal.

Zionist lobby against Yemen

In a speech to mark the death anniversary of founding leader Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, the current leader said Israel is involved in Yemen’s conflict and provides training for Saudi-backed forces.

“It is well-known that everything that is happening in our region serves the interest of one party – the Zionists and the US,” he said.

File photo shows a Yemeni man walking past flames rising from the ruins of buildings destroyed in an airstrike by the Saudi jets in the capital Sana’a. ©AFP

The Houthi leader also said that “the Zionist lobby is acting spitefully, planning a lot of schemes against our nation, arousing civil wars and creating crises.”

“Can we say that what is happening in the region and in Yemen serves the Palestinian interest?,” he said.

“The Zionist activity is focused on media and communications and on all means to design public opinion,” al-Houthi noted, saying awareness is the first weapon a nation needs.

Justice for victims

On Wednesday, Human Rights Watch called for justice for victims of the conflict, asking the warring sides to “support international investigations, transitional justice and victim compensation as key elements of any agreement.”

The rights organization has frequently criticized Saudi airstrikes against Yemeni civilians as clear cases of violations of the laws of war.

According to the UN, the majority of those civilians killed in the Yemeni conflict have died in Saudi bombings.

The New York-based organization accused Saudi Arabia of conducting “indiscriminate air strikes” against residential areas.

“It’s crucial for the Yemen peace talks to address past atrocities as well as future political arrangements,” said Joe Stork, the organization’s Middle East director.

“A mechanism should be put in place to investigate abuses, prosecute those responsible and assist the victims,” he added.

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