Yemen on a quest for peace
· The UN announces the first peace talks in Geneva ·
Martin Griffiths, Special Envoy for Yemen, has announced that peace talks will convene in Geneva starting on 6 September. It is the first time that the United Nations will call this kind of summit for the Yemeni crisis. There will be a particular focus on the general framework for the negotiations.
Speaking to members of the UN Security Council, Griffiths said that “a political solution” to bring an end to the war in this country is “available”, and urged world leaders to support this new push for peace negotiations. He highlighted that “these consultations will provide the opportunity for the parties, among other things, to discuss the framework for negotiations, to agree on relevant confidence-building measures, and specific plans for moving the process forward”. It is not yet clear whether the parties involved--President Hadi’s lawful government, backed by a Saudi-led international coalition, and the Houthi rebels--will take part in the negotiations or not, or in what context they will take place.
Griffith’s announcement came just a few hours after the umpteenth bloodbath in this conflict which has been going on for three years. Yesterday at least 52 people died and more than a hundred were injured in an air raid carried out by the Saudi-backed coalition against the port city of Hodeidah, in the western part of the country. Abdelrahman Yarai, director of a local health office, was quoted by Reuters as saying “So far we have counted 52 dead and 102 wounded in the market and in front of the entrance of the main hospital in the city”. Air raids occurred during the evening on 2 August. In Hodeidah, one of the Yemeni army’s largest offensives against the Houthi rebels is underway.
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