Saudi-led coalition announces 48-hour ceasefire in Yemen

Riyadh, Nov 19 (IANS) The Saudi-led coalition announced on Saturday a 48-hour ceasefire in Yemen, starting at noon local time, the media reported.

The coalition, which has been fighting Houthi rebels in support of the Yemeni government since March last year, said the truce will be automatically renewed upon the commitment of Houthi militias to the ceasefire rules, Xinhua news agency reported.

The truce will allow the access of humanitarian aid to the besieged areas, especially Taiz, Yemen’s third largest city.

The coalition warned that its forces will respond to Houthi violations of the truce, while confirming the continuation of its air and maritime bans and inspections.

This agreement came as part of UN efforts to end the bloody war in Yemen. Most of the previously announced truces had failed.

Since March last year, the coalition has been fighting both Houthi rebels and forces loyal to Yemen’s former President Ali Abdullah Saleh in a bid to restore to power internationally backed President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who was overthrown by the Houthis in late 2014.