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Ceasefire agreed in Yemen ahead of government-Houthis peace talk Open in fullscreen

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Ceasefire agreed in Yemen ahead of government-Houthis peace talk

Previous rounds of UN-sponsored talks have been unsuccessful [Getty]

Date of publication: 24 March, 2016

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Yemen's warring factions have agreed to meet in April for a new round of peace talks to provide a resolution to the ongoing conflict.

Yemen's warring parties have agreed to lay down their weapons on April 10 in preparation for peace talks in Kuwait a week later, after a year-long battle left the impoverished state in an even more dire situation.

Government officials, opposition parties and Houthi leaders will attend the April 18 talks held in Kuwait in an attempt to offer a peaceful resolution to a conflict that has taken the lives of more than 6,300 people.

"The parties to the conflict have agreed to a nationwide cessation of hostilities beginning April 10 at midnight in advance of the upcoming round of the peace talks, which will take place on April 18 in Kuwait," Special UN envoy, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed told a press conference in New York.

Previous rounds of peace talks have so far proven unsuccessful with leaders unable to reach a solution as violations tarnished planned ceasefires.

Yemen’s conflict pits the government, backed by an Arab-led coalition, against the Houthis, allied with the former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The aim is to reach an agreement which will end the conflict and allow the resumption of an inclusive political dialogue

'Pleasant surprise'

The agreed participation comes as a surprise to many especially after Ould Cheikh confirmed warring parties were divided on terms for a new round of peace talks just last month.

But the UN envoy now says he held discussions with senior members of Yemen's political factions who have agreed to contribute at the negotiation table.

"The aim is to reach an agreement which will end the conflict and allow the resumption of an inclusive political dialogue," Ould Cheikh said Wednesday.

The talks call on the disarmament or rebel fighters and their withdrawal from seized territories including public institutions and government buildings in the capital, in accordance with the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2216.

Violence and instability have rocked Yemen since September 2014 when Houthi rebels seized Sanaa, forcing the government to relocate in the coastal city, Aden.

More than 6,300 people have died - half of them civilians -since the Saudi-led coalition launched airstrikes on Yemen in March 2015 in a bid to overpower the Houthis and reinstate President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi's government.

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