UN envoy warns that return to war in Yemen ‘real’

The UN envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg warned that the risk of a return to fighting “is real,” urging warring parties to accept a longer extension of the current ceasefire due to expire next month.

Grunberg comments follow a meeting with Yemeni, Saudi and Omani officials in Riyadh and Muscat this week as the deadline for renewing Yemen’s truce approaches.

Yemen has been experiencing relative calm and a significant reduction in violence on front lines since the UN-brokered truce among warring parties took effect in April. The truce which has been renewed three times for two-month iterations is set to expire on Saturday as the UN seeks a broader truce.

The UN has been calling for a prolonged truce that extends beyond the two month period, but issues such as reopening the roads around the besieged city of Taez and paying civil servants’ salaries after six years of stagnation have prevented real progress towards finding an ongoing solution.

Several violations of the truce by the Iran-backed Houthis including an attack that killed 10 military personnel in Taez last month have also complicated truce talks.

Image Credit: Twitter/EU in Yemen