Picture shown is for illustrative purposes only.
The declaration by the Joint Forces Command of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen of a comprehensive ceasefire in the country for a period of two weeks, starting Thursday, is a wise, responsible and humane decision.
As the Coalition statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency clearly points out, 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.
The decision is timely and humane especially because the entire world is engaged in fighting a deadly pandemic that poses a threat to entire humanity cutting across almost all countries.
United Nations chief António Guterres has also rightly welcomed the ceasefire as a way to promote peace and slow the advance of COVID-19.
The UN chief has been insisting that only through dialogue will the parties be able to agree on a mechanism for sustaining a nation-wide ceasefire, humanitarian and economic confidence-building measures to alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people, and the resumption of the political process to reach a comprehensive settlement to end the conflict.
Repeated warnings from humanitarian agencies about the dire state of the country’s health service – where around half of all medical centres are closed – and a lack of food, fuel and medicine have highlighted how dependent the country is on external assistance.
UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths has also indicated that the 14-day unilateral ceasefire covered all ground, maritime and air operations in Yemen starting April 9.
In his words: “I am grateful to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Arab Coalition for recognising and acting on this critical moment for Yemen. The parties must now utilise this opportunity and cease immediately all hostilities with the utmost urgency and make progress towards comprehensive and sustainable peace.”
The Special Envoy has been mediating between the parties to reach agreements on a nation-wide ceasefire, humanitarian and economic measures that will bring tangible relief to the people of Yemen, and the resumption of the political process to comprehensively end the war.
The coalition has already welcomed the call by the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to Yemen to de-escalate 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, has made it clear that 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 combating the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
The UAE, on its part, has been constantly engaged in providing humanitarian relief assistance and supporting the Yemeni people so as to ease the dire humanitarian conditions prevailing there.
The value of assistance provided by the UAE to Yemen from April 2015 through February 2020 amounted to over Dhs22 billion, according to the Emirates Red Crescent’s figures.
The assistance included rehabilitating schools and hospitals, securing energy, rebuilding airports and ports, expansion of roads and building housing units, along with other projects aimed at ensuring livelihood for multiple segments of the Yemeni people, including widows, orphans and people of determination.
The coronavirus outbreak has affected many lives of professionals and homemakers alike the world over. However, there are some people who carry on with their plans, particularly those wishing to go overseas either on official or company work or spend holidays.
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.
The Southern Transitional Council (STC) accused the government of failing to perform its duties and of "conspiring" against the southern cause, and said self-governance had begun at midnight.
A five-year war has shattered Yemen's health system, pushed millions to the brink of famine and divided the country between the internationally recognised government and the Houthi group that ousted it from power in the capital, Sanaa, in late 2014.
The cruel shooting down by Israeli police of an unarmed autistic Palestinian man in annexed east Jerusalem is a hugely condemnable action that confirms repeated complaints about use of excessive force by Israeli security forces against innocent Palestinians.
It is fitting that the white US police officer charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter of an African-American in Minneapolis bears the French family name of Chauvin. The name has morphed into “chauvinist” meaning bigot over the decades since a soldier called Nicolas Chauvin was honoured as a super patriot by the Emperor Napoleon for loyal service during his multiple military campaigns.
Two prime ministers of two major European powers spoke to their people late on Thursday afternoon.