Yemen peace envoy in new push for ceasefire

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UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed intends to push for a humanitarian ceasefire. Photo: UNMEER/Simon Ruf

Efforts to secure a ceasefire in Yemen have stepped up a gear with the news that United Nations Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed is to "spend more time" in the region talking to the warring parties, the UN said Friday.

The announcement comes after initial consultations held in Geneva by the Special Envoy which ended without an agreement on a so-called humanitarian pause.

According to UN spokesperson Ahmad Fawzi, in coming days the Special Envoy intends to "shuttle" between the exiled government in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh and the rebel-held Yemen capital Sana'a.

Daniel Johnson has more.

The announcement that Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed is to spend more time in the Arabian peninsula follows the Geneva consultations and his briefing to the UN Security Council earlier this week.

While a ceasefire agreement proved elusive in the Swiss city, the Special Envoy will be aiming to make the most of what he called signs of "constructive engagement" by the warring parties.

Here's UN spokesperson in Geneva, Ahmad Fawzi:

"He intends to spend more time in the two capitals to discuss the draft principles paper which was developed here in Geneva until, and I quote, 'We reach a preliminary agreement.' So he's off to Kuwait tomorrow, then Riyadh then Sana'a and he'll shuttle back and forth discussing the draft principles paper that he believes both sides have agreed upon in principle."

As fighting continues between government and rebel forces in Yemen, the World Health Organization said that it has secured US$9 million for life-saving medicines to treat chronic disease there.

Heart disease and chronic respiratory disease are two common and "neglected" conditions, the agency said.

According to UN figures, 2,800 people have been killed and 13,000 injured in Yemen since the violence escalated in March.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations

Duration: 1’13″



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