Yemen rebels, allies agree to UN peace plan

2015-10-07 16:36
Smoke rises after an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition in Sana’a, Yemen. (Hani Mohammed, AP)

Smoke rises after an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition in Sana’a, Yemen. (Hani Mohammed, AP)

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Sana'a - Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels and their allies signalled acceptance of a UN peace plan Wednesday aimed at ending a months-long conflict in the impoverished country.

UN envoy on Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said that the Houthis had agreed to implement a UN resolution which demands that the rebels withdraw from areas under their control in Yemen and hand over their weapons to state institutions.

"The Houthis have agreed in writing to implement the UN resolution 2216," the Mauritanian diplomat said on his Facebook page without giving details.

Yemen's internationally recognized government has repeatedly refused to participate in any peace talks with the rebels unless they accept the resolution passed in April.

The General People's Congress Party of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is aligned with the Houthis, called on Wednesday for the start of negotiations on devising an "implementation mechanism" for the UN resolution.

There was no comment from the Saudi-backed Yemeni government based in the southern city of Aden.

The Houthis and military units loyal to Saleh seized large parts of Yemen including the capital Sana'a in a territorial sweep.

In March, Saudi Arabia and its fellow Sunni partners started an air campaign in Yemen after the rebels advanced on Aden, forcing President Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi, a Sunni, to flee the country.

In June, Hadi's loyalists, backed by the Saudi-led coalition, regained Aden and drove the rebels out of most parts of southern Yemen.

Previous attempts to end Yemen's war have failed amid worsening humanitarian conditions in the country.

More than 2 300 civilians have been killed in Yemen's violence since March, according to UN agencies.

Read more on:    yemen

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