UN envoy appeals for extending Yemen ceasefire

United Nations, Oct 23 (IANS/Xinhua) The UN Special Envoy for Yemen has urged all parties to the Yemeni conflict to extend a three-day humanitarian ceasefire for another 72 hours, authorities said.

The three-day truce brokered by the United Nations went into effect on Wednesday midnight with an aim to facilitate humanitarian aid to the war-stricken cities. The truce expired on Saturday midnight.

“The ceasefire was largely holding despite reported violations from both sides in several areas,” said Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed in a statement.

He added that UN personnel were able to reach areas that were inaccessible to deliver food and aid because of the truce.

“We would like to build on this and we aim for a wider outreach in the next few days,” he added.

However, it was not known immediately if the warring parties have agreed to extend the truce.

The situation in Yemen has deteriorated since March 2015 when war broke out between the Shia Houthi group, supported by former President Ali Abdullash Saleh, and the government backed by a Saudi-led Arab coalition.

Houthis and Saleh’s forces hold most of Yemen’s northern regions while forces backed by Saudi-led military coalition control the rest of the country, including seven southern provinces.

The war has killed more than 10,000 people, half of them civilians, injured more than 35,000 others and displaced over two million, according to humanitarian agencies.