16:59 GMT21 October 2020
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    Within hours of a 72-hour cease-fire expiring, Yemen was once more being pounded by airstrikes and both sides in the war were blaming each other for the resumption of conflict.

    The 72-hour cease-fire expired at midnight October 22. By dawn, strikes by the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthi rebels in the country were reported near the capital of Sanaa, in the Hafa camp and in Nahdein. Residents reported attacks on radar positions in Houthi-controlled Hodeida and in Taiz, Reuters writes, as well as in the Jazan region, according to AFP. 

    UN special envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said he had hoped for a longer cessation of hostilities in the ravaged country, Voice of America reports. "We would like to build on this and we aim for a wider outreach in the next few days," he said. Ahmed said both sides seemed to adhere to the ceasefire, despite other reports that both sides violated the terms of the cease-fire, with Saudi forces bombing Sanaa on Friday and ground fighting continuing throughout. 

    Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdulmalek al-Mekhlafi said Ahmed's appeal for an extension of the cease-fire was pointless. "An extension would be useless, because even if we accept it, the other party does not make any commitment to respect the cease-fire," he said, AFP reports. "We respect the UN envoy's call for an extension, but in effect, there was no truce due to the violations" by Houthi rebels. Yemen's army chief of staff echoed the sentiment, saying "The [Houthi] coup militias deliberately thwarted the truce, and that further convinced our military and political leadership of their unwillingness to accept peace," Deutsche Welle reports. 

    This was the sixth short-lived cease-fire in Yemen’s nearly two-year civil war. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says there are now more than 14 million food insecure people in the country, and more than 3 million have been displaced. The cease-fire was intended to allow humanitarian relief to reach those in need. Ahmed reported that food and humanitarian supplies had indeed reached “several affected neighborhoods” during the week. 

    More than 10,000 people have been killed in the fighting in Yemen so far, according to the UN. The situation in Yemen remains extremely unstable as the conflict raging since 2014 between the government headed by Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and Houthi rebels, which are the country’s main opposition force, shows no sign of ending. 


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    airstrikes, United Nations, Yemen, Saudi Arabia
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