Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
The Joint Forces Command of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen has declared a comprehensive ceasefire in Yemen for a period of two weeks, starting on Thursday, April 9, 2020, at 12:00 KSA time. The two-week period is subject to extension.
“Based on its previous announcement on March 25, 2020, the Joint Forces Command of the Coalition supported the Yemeni government’s decision to accept the United Nations Secretary General’s call to a ceasefire in Yemen in order to counter the spread of the COVID-19 Pandemic,” said the Coalition in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency.
The coalition welcomed the call by the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths to deescalate tensions, take practical confidence building measures between different parties, and focus on humanitarian and economic development.
The Official Spokesman of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen Colonel Turki Al Malki said the coalition is determined to create a conducive environment for the UN Envoy’s efforts, and to alleviate the suffering of the brotherly people of Yemen and support the efforts towards combatting the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
“To that end, the Coalition announces a comprehensive ceasefire in Yemen for a period of two weeks, starting on Thursday, April 9, 2020, at 12:00 KSA time.”
Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid Bin Salman tweeted on Thursday that it “will hopefully create a more effective climate to deescalate tensions” and enable the sides to work towards a political settlement.
He also tweeted that Saudi Arabia would contribute $500 million to UN relief efforts in Yemen this year, and an additional $25 million to combat the pandemic.
“It is up to Houthis to put the health and safety of the Yemeni people above all else,” the minister wrote.
Yemen’s official SABA news agency reported on Thursday that the Vice President, Lieutenant General Ali Mohsen Saleh, told UN chief Antonio Guterres in a virtual meeting that the government had agreed to the cease-fire.
So far, Yemen has not recorded any cases of coronavirus.
However, humanitarian groups have warned of a severe death toll if the pandemic hits the country.
An International Rescue Committee (IRC) representative in Yemen said on Thursday that more than half of Yemen’s medical facilities are not functioning and that millions of Yemenis have no access to proper hygiene, water or sanitation.