Yemeni Rebels Confirm Commitment to End Crisis

Yemen's Houthi rebels confirm in writing they agree to UN resolutions aimed at ending the country's conflict.

Ben Ariel,

Houthis dance in Yemen
Houthis dance in Yemen
Reuters

Yemen's Houthi rebels have confirmed in writing to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon their commitment to UN resolutions aimed at ending the country's conflict, the BBC reported on Tuesday, citing a letter sent to Ban and seen by the network.

In the letter, Houthi representatives pledge to adhere to a seven-point peace plan brokered by the UN during talks in Muscat, Oman.

The letter follows a verbal commitment to the resolutions issued last month.

The UN estimates that nearly 4,900 people, including 2,355 civilians, have been killed in the conflict in Yemen.

Addressed to Ban, the letter commits to the seven Muscat principles, which include a ceasefire, the removal of armed militias from the cities and the return of the government to the capital, Sanaa, according to the BBC.

Yemen's President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who recently returned to Yemen after being driven from the country by the rebels several months ago, has insisted the Houthis pull back from territory seized over the past year before an agreement can be reached.

In the letter, the Houthi representatives, known officially as Ansar Allah, call the peace plan an "important and fundamental ... step towards the resumption of the political process".

"We, from our side along with other parties, commit to these seven points as one unified bundle," it says, adding, "We welcome the UN call for all sides to return to the table of dialogue."

The letter criticizes the Yemeni government, alleging it has "not shown any positive reciprocity" with the UN peace process, according to the BBC.

An alliance of Arab states - mostly Yemen's wealthy Arabian Peninsula neighbors - intervened in the impoverished country's civil war in March with the aim of restoring Hadi, and have helped drive the Iranian-allied Houthi forces back from Aden.

It is believed Iran is planning to use the Houthis to take over Yemen and seize the key strategic port of Aden, which controls the entrance to the Red Sea and ultimately to the Israeli resort city of Eilat, though Tehran denies the charges.

In June, Yemen's exiled government and the Houthi rebels failed to agree on a temporary ceasefire during UN-brokered talks. A humanitarian truce was declared a month later, but fighting continued even during that truce.

Late last month, Yemen's exiled government pulled out yet again of UN-mediated peace talks with its Houthi adversaries, pushing back the prospects of a peaceful resolution to the conflict.




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