The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen announced it will implement a two-week ceasefire in support of the UN’s efforts to end the five-year war (Reuters). In addition, the ceasefire aimed to alleviate the threat of coronavirus in impoverished Yemen (Reuters). Although there have been no reported cases, Yemen’s “barely functioning” health system would leave millions vulnerable to the disease if it were to spread (BBC). The ceasefire will take into effect on Thursday for two weeks and will be open for extension (Reuters).
The Houthi rebels, however, have announced they will not abide by the ceasefire unless there is a complete “removal of the siege in Yemen” (BBC). Houthi spokesman Mohammad al-Bukhaiti claims that the Saudi-UAE coalition was still using air power to impose a blockade against Yemen (Al Jazeera). He adds that the coalition’s move to announce a ceasefire was “just another ploy” (BBC). The conflict in Yemen has ravished the country since March 2015 when Houthis seized control of much of the western territory (BBC). Labeled as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the conflict has caused more than 100,000 deaths in what the UN calls the “world’s worst humanitarian disaster” (Al Jazeera).