Yemen peace talks risk collapse as government threatens withdrawal

Yemen peace talks risk collapse as government threatens withdrawal
2 min read
29 April, 2016
Peace talks in Yemen face problems as the government delegation threatens to withdraw due to excessive Houthi violations of the UN-brokered ceasefire.
The peace talks are the latest efforts to resolve the Yemeni conflict [AFP]
Yemen’s government delegation has threatened to suspend their participation in the peace talks due to continuous violations by Houthi rebels in Taiz, a senior official said.

Head of the government delegation and Foreign Minister, Adulmalik al-Mikhlafi suggested the rebel’s violations of a nationwide truce could seriously detriment the peace negotiations.

Government officials who gathered in the Kuwaiti capital on Friday to discuss the alleged violations warned the UN envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh of their plans to suspend negotiations after breaches were reported in the country’s third largest Taiz city this week.

“Peace begins with upholding the ceasefire. Violating it is a crime, bombing houses is a war crime. The violations committed yesterday and today threaten the peace negotiations,” al-Mikhlafi tweeted.

The threats follow accusations suggesting 950 violations were recorded by resistance groups in Taiz where thousands of residents had been deprived of humanitarian aid in a Houthi-siege that lasted several months.

At least 49 people were killed and 227 wounded in Taiz since the truce began on April 10.

On Tuesday, warring parties agreed to a framework for talks that are expected to open the way for extensive negotiations to end the conflict.

"We don't want to go back to Yemen without a peaceful settlement," Ould Cheikh Ahmed said.

More than 6,800 people have been killed and around 2.8 million displaced since a Saudi-led Arab coalition began operations in March 2015 against Houthi rebels who have seized swathes of territory, including the capital Sanaa.