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UN envoy to Yemen: Momentum to end the war is building

AP/New York
Filed on November 23, 2019 | Last updated on November 23, 2019 at 11.51 pm

(AP)

He said the dramatic reduction in airstrikes compared with the two previous weeks indicated "a reduction in the tempo of the war.

The UN envoy for Yemen said the momentum to end the country's devastating five-year war is building, pointing to a nearly 80 per cent drop in airstrikes nationwide in the last two weeks, a strengthened cease-fire in the key port of Hodeida, and the beginning of the kind of leadership needed to restore peace to the Arab world's poorest nation.

Martin Griffiths told the UN Security Council that developments since infighting between the internationally recognised government and separatists in Yemen's south in August "are beginning to produce results."

In possibly the most important sign "that something is changing," he said the dramatic reduction in airstrikes compared with the two previous weeks indicated "a reduction in the tempo of the war, and perhaps a move towards an overall cease-fire."

Griffiths noted that the cessation of missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia by Houthi Shiite rebels, which the group announced on September 20, "has been sustained for a second month in a row."

The conflict in Yemen began with the 2014 takeover of the capital, Sanaa, by Iranian-backed Houthis. A Saudi-led coalition allied with the internationally recognised government has been fighting the Houthis since 2015.


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