Thursday, 05 June 2014 09:01

Yemeni army, Al Houthi rebels agree to ceasefire

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Sana’a: Yemeni army forces and Al Houthi rebels reached a ceasefire deal on Wednesday to end clashes in the northern province of Amran following mediation backed by United Nations envoy Jamal Benomar.

The agreement was made between government officials and representatives of Ansarullah rebels “to end violence” in Amran, the office of Benomar said. State news agency Saba said the ceasefire agreement took effect at midday (0900 GMT).

It stipulated an end to military reinforcements from both sides, deployment of impartial military monitors, and the opening of the main road to the capital Sana’a, the agency said.

Benomar held “intensive consultations” with representatives of military leaders as well as Al Houthi rebels, his office said in a statement.

He urged all sides to abide by all the points of the agreement “to reinstate security and stability in the region,” after dozens were killed in the clashes that flared at the end of May.

Government warplanes this week raided positions of the rebels who seized a strategic point that controls the road to Sana’a.

Al Houthis are suspected of trying to expand their sphere of influence as Yemen is split into six regions, pushing out from their mountain strongholds in the far north to areas closer to Sana’a.

The rebels complained Yemen would be divided into rich and poor regions under a federalisation plan agreed in February following national talks as part of a political transition.

Al Houthis have been fighting the central government for years, complaining of marginalisation under ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was ousted in a 2012 uprising.

In February, they seized areas of Amran province in fighting with tribes that killed more than 150 people.

amsi.com & agencies.

 

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