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Yemeni President: War with Houthi fighters is over

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh says the war with Houthi fighters in the north of the country is over.

Saleh said a ceasefire with Houthi fighters had begun yesterday. “The war is over…” he told the Arabic al-Arabiya TV station on Friday.

The announcement comes two days after Houthi fighters released 178 captured soldiers.

Yemen’s government and the Houthis reached a peace agreement in February which ended fighting that has raged on and off since mid-2004 and has seen more than 250-thousand people displaced into refugee camps in the country.

It is believed that part of the deal to end the conflict will include landmines and roadblocks being removed by Houthi fighters.” These are considered positive indications to prove good intention not to return to a new war,” Saleh said.

The end of hostilities with the Houthis closes one of three fronts on which Yemeni government forces have been battling. The government still faces pressure from western countries and neighbouring Arab nations to deal with al-Qaeda militants who have taken advantage of instability to establish militant training camps.

It is still also involved in fighting separatists in the south, who have staged demonstrations calling for independence amid reports of escalating violence in the region.

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