Peace talks in Yemen

The Yemeni government and Houthi rebels called an immediate halt to hostilities on Tuesday as they started peace talks mediated by a United Nations special envoy at an undisclosed location in Switzerland, a United Nations spokesman confirmed. The cease-fire took effect at midday in Yemen, hours after a Saudi-led military coalition announced a seven-day pause in the campaign of intensive airstrikes it has conducted in support of President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi of Yemen. Scattered reports of shelling, mortar and automatic weapons fire pointed to violations of the truce in a number of areas. But for the most part, the truce appears to have held, offering a desperately needed respite to the country’s civilian population, battered by nine months of ferocious conflict. The United Nations estimates that the war has caused close to 40,000 casualties and inflicted significant damage on the impoverished country’s infrastructure, deepening its humanitarian crisis”.

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