Houthis not against extending UN-brokered truce in Yemen

Houthis not against extending UN-brokered truce in Yemen

MOHAMMED HUWAIS AFP CAIRO - The head of Yemen's Houthi Supreme Political Council, Mahdi al-Mashat, said on Sunday that the group was not against extending a UN-brokered truce, despite the fact that it was not encouraging enough. The two-month nationwide truce between a Saudi-led coalition and the Iran-aligned Houthi group, the first since 2016, went into effect on April 2 and has largely held.

The United Nations wants to move forward with an extension to allow for inclusive political negotiations to end a seven-year war that has killed tens of thousands and caused a humanitarian crisis.

Mashat said in a speech from Al Masirah TV, the main television news outlet of the Houthi movement, that we are not against the extension of the truce, but what is not possible is accepting any truce in which the suffering of our people continues.

He added that he called for a genuine and encouraging cooperation that leads to improving the humanitarian and economic benefits of any upcoming truce.

In Yemen in 2015, the Saudi-led coalition intervened against the Houthis after they ousted the government from Sanaa.

The truce has given a glimmer of hope in a country where the war and ensuing economic collapse have left millions facing starvation and could provide Riyadh with an exit from a costly conflict that is a point of tension with Washington.

The conflict is seen as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. The Houthis say they are fighting a corrupt system and foreign aggression.