Yemen's warring parties break ceasefire in matter of hours - report

A two-month truce took effect on Saturday evening.

 Military policemen ride on the back of a patrol truck at the site of a funeral of Houthi fighters killed during recent fighting against government forces, in Sanaa, Yemen December 6, 2021 (photo credit: KHALED ABDULLAH/REUTERS)
Military policemen ride on the back of a patrol truck at the site of a funeral of Houthi fighters killed during recent fighting against government forces, in Sanaa, Yemen December 6, 2021
(photo credit: KHALED ABDULLAH/REUTERS)

The warring sides in Yemen's seven-year conflict reportedly have broken what was meant to be a two-month ceasefire just hours after it came into effect. The announcement was welcomed by the UAE, according to state media. 

The Houthi Saba news agency reported that Saudi forces had launched shells at Jizan and Ma'rib early Sunday morning, breaching the UN-brokered ceasefire.

Meanwhile, Baraa Shiban, who works with the Reprieve NGO, claimed early Sunday morning that it was the Houthis who breached the ceasefire in Marib.

The UN-brokered deal between the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthis is the most significant step yet towards ending a conflict that has killed tens of thousands and pushed millions into hunger. The last coordinated cessation of hostilities nationwide was during peace talks in 2016.

UN special envoy Hans Grundberg had said on Friday that the two-month truce would come into effect on Saturday at 7 p.m. local time (1600 GMT) and could be renewed with consent of the parties. Saturday marks the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

 A view of an arch damaged by clashes is seen on the outskirts of the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, Yemen November 13, 2021. Picture taken November 13, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/MANAL QAED) A view of an arch damaged by clashes is seen on the outskirts of the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, Yemen November 13, 2021. Picture taken November 13, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/MANAL QAED)

A copy of the truce deal seen by Reuters, and reported by Houthi-run Al Masirah TV, said 18 fuel vessels would be given access during the truce period and two flights a week would be operated from the capital Sanaa to Jordan and Egypt.

The Saudi-led coalition, which intervened in March 2015 against the Houthis, controls Yemen's seas and air space.

The coalition intervened after the Houthis ousted the internationally recognized government from Sanaa in late 2014.