UN envoy for Yemen visits Sanaa, the capital held by Houthi rebels

The UN special envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, arrived on Monday (April 11th) in Sanaa, the capital controlled by Houthi rebels since 2014. A first visit as the war-ravaged country experiences a truce brittle.

Having taken office in September, Hans Grundberg must “talking to leaders [des houthistes] on the implementation and strengthening of the truce”. The diplomat should notably meet Mehdi Hussein Al-Machat, one of the most senior leaders of the rebels, according to their television channel Al-Massirah.

The UN official had met on Saturday in Oman with the rebel negotiator, Mohammed Abdelsalam, as well as the Omani foreign minister, Badr Al-Boussaïdi, with whom he discussed the truce in force since April 2.

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The truce could continue beyond two months

Forced by the UN, this two-month ceasefire has been largely respected, and offers a glimmer of hope among the population, confronted with one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world. Rebels and loyalist forces nevertheless accused each other of truce violations. On TwitterMr. Grundberg had urged the parties on Friday to “show restraint and continue their commitment”.

The truce, which could be extended beyond two months, provides in particular for the cessation of all military operations as well as the partial and controlled reopening of Sanaa airport. The Saudi coalition controls all of Yemen’s air and maritime space, including in areas held by rebels, who denounce a “blockade”.

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Le Monde and AFP

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