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Yemen rebels arrive for Geneva peace talks after 24-hour delay

Yemen rebels arrive for Geneva peace talks after 24-hour delay

The rebels’ plane had left the Yemen capital Sanaa on Sunday afternoon but was forced to wait in Djibouti for nearly 24 hours.



By (AFP)

Published: Tue 16 Jun 2015, 2:08 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 3:07 PM

Geneva — A Yemeni rebel delegation arrived in Geneva Tuesday for the second day of UN-backed peace talks after being stranded in Djibouti for a day, a UN source said.

The rebels’ absence at the start of the high stakes talks that were launched on Monday by UN chief Ban Ki-moon had raised concerns about the negotiations.

The rebels’ plane had left the Yemen capital Sanaa on Sunday afternoon but was forced to wait in Djibouti for nearly 24 hours.

The Iran-backed rebels accuse Egypt and Sudan of not allowing their plane to fly over their airspace.

Mohamed Abdel Salam, the spokesman for the Ansarullah rebel group, put up a post on Facebook thanking Oman for using “its good offices” to resolve the problem.

Oman is the only Gulf country that has not joined the Saudi-led Arab coalition which launched air strikes on Yemen on March 26.

Yemen has been wrecked by conflict between Iran-backed rebels and exiled President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi’s internationally recognised government.

Global powers are keen for a speedy resolution, fearing the growing power of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the Yemeni branch of the militant network that has taken advantage of the chaos to seize territory.

On Monday, Ban underscored the need for an immediate humanitarian truce in Yemen for at least two weeks to mark the Holy Month of Ramadan in order to furnish critical supplies to millions of people facing acute shortages.

The UN chief held talks with a government delegation but regretted not being able to meet the rebels.

The UN has described Yemen’s humanitarian crisis as “catastrophic”, with 80 per cent of the population — 20 million people — in need of aid. 


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