UN envoy to Yemen puts forth new peace plan to Houthi rebels
Yemeni women supporting the Houthi rebels demonstrate against Saudi-led coalition air strikes, outside a hotel where the United Nations envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, is staying, in the Yemeni capital Sanaa, on October 25, 2016. (AFP/Mohammed Huwais)
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UN Special Envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed announced on Tuesday that he handed out a plan to a delegation from Houthi rebels and the General People’s Congress including security and political arrangements for ending the conflict in the country.
The UN envoy said the rebels would give their response to his proposal in the coming days.
Prior to ending his two-day visit to Sana’a, Ould Cheikh said he called on all parties to fully cooperate to end the fighting.
“All parties must cooperate fully and swiftly to support political alternatives to secure lasting peace guided by a conviction that violence is never a viable solution,” the UN envoy said.
He added: “We also pushed all concerned parties to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to all Yemeni areas.”
Peace talks between Yemeni warring parties held in Kuwait ended in deadlock in August.
Ould Cheikh gave no details on his latest roadmap.
Yemeni political analyst Abdullah Ismail told Asharq Al-Awsat: “Although the plan presented by Ould Cheikh to the rebels remains unclear, I do not expect them to accept any vision that could possibly lead to their withdrawal from Yemeni cities or handing over their weapons.”
After Ould Cheikh left Sana’a on Tuesday, the rebel delegation issued a statement confirming it had received a road plan from the UN. envoy, adding that it would discuss this plan with the group’s political leaderships before taking any position.
Meanwhile, the Arab Coalition denied on Tuesday it imposed a blockade on Yemen, saying instead that it was monitoring the area to prevent the smuggling of weapons.
“No, there is no blockade,” coalition spokesman Major General Ahmed Assiri told AFP.
“There is control based on international law… Control is different from blockade, which means that nobody can enter or leave” the country, he said.
On the battlefield, Al-Arabiya news channel quoted sources as saying that the Arab coalition has intercepted and destroyed Houthi militia ballistic missiles into Marib.