Friday, February 12, 2010

Yemeni government and Houthis agree on truce

The Yemeni governent and the Houthi fighters in the north of Yemen have reached a cease fire that went into affect as off midnight on Thursday. President Ali Abdullah Saleh made the announcement on Thursday after reports that the Yemeni government and the group were close to reaching a deal to end six months of fighting.
The truce was made possible after the group, belonging to the Zaidi Shia sect, accepted six conditions put forward by the government for the cessation of hostilities.
Yemen said last week it had handed the fighters a timetable for implementing the ceasefire terms, a week after rejecting a Houthi truce offer because it did not include a promise to end hostilities with neighbouring Saudi Arabia.
Yemeni officials have said that as part of a truce deal, Sanaa would allow Houthi representatives to sit on a committee overseeing the truce, and the group’s fighters would hand over weapons they seized from Yemeni and Saudi forces.
Yemen state television said the government and the group had also formed four smaller committees to supervise the truce in four areas, including on the Yemen-Saudi border.
The deadline for the full implementation of the truce had been a point of contention, with the Houthis asking for more time for their fighters to leave mountainous positions, they said.

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