Yemen’s army and Houthi fighters agree on ceasefire
The deal took effect on Wednesday and stipulated an end to all military reinforcements from both sides, the deployment of impartial military monitors to the area, and the re-opening of the main road to Sana’a, according to Yemen’s state SABA news agency.
SABA also reported that 30 military observers have been deployed to the region to oversee the ceasefire agreement. Yemeni military forces, backed by local Sunni tribesman, have been fighting against Shi’ite Houthi rebels—backed by allied police and military forces—for the past two months.
Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi formed a new committee, chaired by Maj. Gen. Mohammad Nasser Ahmad, to implement the articles of the agreement. The committee has 11 members and comprises representatives of the Yemeni military and Houthi rebels, as well as unaffiliated local tribal figures.
In a statement issued by his office, UN envoy Jamal Benomar said it was important for all parties to adhere to the agreement in order to restore security and stability to the region. The statement added that Benomar had held intensive discussions with security and political figures, as well as representatives of the Houthis, to help alleviate the tension.
Yemeni National Dialogue Conference member Issam Al-Qaisi expressed concerns about adherence to the ceasefire agreement amid the failure of recent attempts to broker a truce. He told Asharq Al-Awsat: “My fear is that this ceasefire agreement could be used as a Trojan Horse, which would see our cities being handed over to a group of outcasts,” in reference to the Shi’ite group.
“There is a genuine sense of mystery about the stances of the president and the defense minister on state sovereignty,” he added.
Yemen’s military have been fighting Houthi rebels in Amran over the past two months with reports that around 400 people, mostly Houthis, have been killed in the conflict.
Local sources informed Asharq Al-Awsat that calm has been restored to Amran following the implementation of this ceasefire on Wednesday, specifically in the towns of Ayal Sarih, Jannat, Jumaimiyah, Marha and Daber.
By Hamdan al-Rahbi