Yemen ceasefire set to start on Wednesday night - U.N. envoy

UNITED NATIONS, Oct 18 (APP): The United Nations special envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, has announced a  three-day ceasefire in war-hit Yemen.

According to a statement, released by Ismail Cheikh on
Monday, the truce will begin on on Wednesday night and continue  for 72 hours.

“The Special Envoy welcomes the restoration of the Cessation  of Hostilities, which will spare the Yemeni people further bloodshed  and will allow for the expanded delivery of humanitarian assistance,”  the statement said.

Earlier on Monday, Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdel-Malek al-Mekhlafi  said on his official Twitter feed that President Abd-Rabbu Mansour  Hadi had agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire with the possibility of it  being extended.

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“The President agreed to a 72 hrs ceasefire to be extended if
the other party adheres to it, activates the DCC (De-escalation and Coordination Committee) and lifts the siege of Taiz,” he said.

The DCC is the United Nations-backed military commission
responsible for overseeing ceasefires in Yemen.

Hadi’s exiled government has been requesting humanitarian
access for Taiz, a divided city largely encircled by the Houthi
rebels who overran Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, in 2014.

Government  forces maintain control of only one of four access routes.

The Houthis and their allies, forces loyal to former President
Ali Abdullah Saleh, hold most of Yemen’s northern half, while forces  loyal to the Hadi share control of the rest of the country with  local tribes.

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Houthi officials could not immediately be reached for comment  about the ceasefire.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said on Monday that Saudi  Arabia was prepared to accept a ceasefire if the Houthis agreed to  one, but that he was sceptical about peace efforts after previous  ceasefire attempts failed.