AL-MUKALLA: Hans Grundberg, UN special envoy for Yemen, on Tuesday landed in Yemen’s southern port city of Aden on a two-day visit aimed at salvaging a shaky truce between warring parties and pushing for opening roads in Taiz and resuming flights from the Houthi-held Sanaa.
Grundberg’s visit to Aden comes as the internationally recognized government of Yemen and the Iran-backed Houthis traded accusations over breaches to the UN-brokered truce across the country and delays in resuming commercial flights from Sanaa airport.
The UN envoy will discuss sustaining the truce and peace efforts with Rashad Al-Alimi, president of the Presidential Leadership Council, and other government officials, the official news agency SABA reported.
The Yemeni government blamed the Houthis for hundreds of violations of the truce since April 2 and for obstructing the departure of the first commercial flight from Sanaa airport on April 24.
The Houthis also accused their opponents of attacking their forces and impeding fuel shipments to the Hodeidah seaport and the resumption of flights from Sanaa airport.
During a meeting with the UN envoy in Riyadh on Monday, Abdullah Al-Alimi, Yemen’s vice president, said the Houthis’ reluctance to lift their siege of Taiz and their continuing attacks on government-controlled areas threaten to torpedo the truce and UN efforts to achieve a peace deal to end the war.
“The Yemeni government is keenly committed to what was agreed upon…and it deals positively, flexibly and responsibly with any proposal that would alleviate human suffering,” the Yemeni official said, according to SABA.
Before touching down in Aden, the UN Yemen envoy discussed strengthening the truce and peace efforts with Mohammed bin Saeed Al-Jaber, Saudi ambassador to Yemen, and Dr. Nayef Al-Hajraf, secretary-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
On Monday, a Houthi sniper stationed on a mountain location outside the city of Taiz shot a 60-year-old shepherdess who was moving her livestock, northwest of the city.
Zafaran Hezam Ahmed was returning to her house with her sheep when the Houthi sniper opened fire at her, wounding her in the left shoulder, residents said.
The Yemeni government on Sunday told Arab News that the Houthis are not serious about ending the suffering of thousands of besieged people in Taiz since they have not nominated their representatives in the joint meeting on opening roads in Taiz and other provinces.