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Peace delayed for Yemen as Houthis fail to show

Thousands hope the peace talks will provide a solution to the conflict [AFP]

Date of publication: 18 April, 2016

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A delegation representing Houthi rebels and former president Saleh have delayed planned peace talks after failing to turn up to negotiations in Kuwait.

Yemen's UN-brokered peace talks, scheduled to begin on Monday, have been delayed after the Houthi delegation failed to show up, it has emerged.

Members of the rebel group, as well as those representing former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, are still in the Yemeni capital and have refused to attend talks unless the opposing side provides proof they have upheld the ceasefire.

"There's no point in going to Kuwait if there's no respect for the ceasefire," a senior official in Saleh's General People's Congress party told Reuters on Monday.

But officials believe the delegation will eventually arrive to begin the peace talks aimed at finding a resolution to more than 13 months of war and instability that has left more than 6,300 people dead and millions more in dire need of humanitarian assistance.

"Representatives from Saleh's party and the Houthis are looking for excuses to delay their arrival at a precise time, but it's expected that they will arrive in Kuwait on Tuesday," an anonymous Yemeni official said.

Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab allies joined the war on March 26 of last year to back Yemen's government after it was pushed into exile by the Houthis.

UN talks in June and December failed to end the war.

The war has allowed al-Qaeda fighters to seize territory and opened a path for IS militants to gain a foothold.

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