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The New Arab

Yemen to have peace plan 'within two months'

Nearly 10,000 people have since been killed in Yemen's conflict [Getty]

Date of publication: 18 April, 2018

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The UN's Yemen mediator has said he will come up with a negotiation plan within two months to end the country's conflict.

Any new military offensives could "take peace off the table," the UN's Yemen mediator, Martin Griffiths, said on Tuesday. 

He added that he plans to present a negotiation plan within two months to end the conflict.

A proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran is playing out in Yemen. Saudi Arabia launched in March 2015 a coalition of Arab states fighting to roll back Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen and restore the country's internationally-recognised government to power. 

Griffiths briefed the UN Security Council for the first time on Tuesday.

"My plan is to put to the (Security) Council within the next two months a framework for negotiations," Griffiths said.

Reports of increased movement of forces in Yemen however have increased the prospect of intense military operations around the Houthi-held port city of Hodeidah warned Griffiths.

"Our concern is that any of these developments may in a stroke, take peace off the table," he said. "We all need urgently and creatively to find ways to diminish the chances of these game-changing events, upsetting and derailing the hopes of the great majority of Yemenis."

Khaled Hussein Mohamed Alyemany, Yemen’s UN ambassador told reporters, "we don’t have the intention to advance on Hodeidah."

The Saudi-backed Yemeni government last week claimed the drones were "made in Iran", adding that Yemen's military did not possess such aircraft and it was "impossible to manufacture them locally".

Tehran has repeatedly denied arming the rebels, which would violate a United Nations weapons embargo slapped on Yemen in 2015.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Tuesday she would continue to push the Security Council for accountability.

"To achieve enduring peace in Yemen, Iran must stop its interference and its violations of the arms embargo this Council imposed," Haley told the council.

Nearly 10,000 people have since been killed in Yemen's conflict, in what the United Nations has called the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

"We have called on all parties to take appropriate measures to mitigate the risk of civilian casualties," Haley said. "The United States is working to offer support to the Saudi-led Coalition, while minimising civilian casualties."

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