Peace talks underway between Yemeni government and rebels

GENEVA - UN-brokered peace talks between Yemen's internationally recognized government and the country's Shiite rebels started on Tuesday in Switzerland as the guns went quiet across Yemen and air raids from a Saudi-coalition targeting the rebels were halted.

See Full Article

The week-long ceasefire, meant to give the warring factions a chance to find a solution to the conflict that has collapsed the Arab world's poorest country, went into effect at noon on Tuesday. But only Yemeni government officials were able to confirm it, Shiite rebel leaders could not be immediately reached for comment on how the truce was holding.

Yemen has been torn by fighting pitting the rebels, known as Houthis, and army units loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh against an array of forces, including the internationally recognized government, which is backed by the Saudi-led coalition and supported by the United States, and also southern separatists, religious extremists and other militants.

In a statement, UN special envoy for Yemen Ismail Cheikh Ahmed said the talks in Switzerland "should mark the end of military violence in Yemen."

According to the UN, the war in Yemen has so far killed at least 5,878 people since March, when the fighting escalated after the Saudi-led coalition began launching airstrikes targeting the rebels.

Just hours before the ceasefire started, the coalition and pro-government forces seized the Red Sea island of Zuqar from the rebels.

Yemeni security officials, who have remained neutral in the conflict, said both sides had intensified the fighting to solidify their positions ahead of the truce. There was no immediate word on casualties and the officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters.

Past efforts to end the violence have ended in failure, as the government insisted the Houthis comply with a UN resolution that requires them to return seized weapons and territory they had captured over the past year, including the capital, Sanaa. In response, the Houthis demanded negotiations over the country's political future.

The two sides had initially agreed to halt fire at midnight Monday but the coalition delayed the truce to midday Tuesday, without elaborating.

In Geneva, UN spokesman Ahmad Fawzi said a total of 24 people were taking part in the "open-ended" talks. UN officials have declined to specify the location of the talks, but Swiss public radio on Monday said they were to take place in the village of Macolin, near the Swiss town of Biel.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Trump charity stepped up 2016 giving amid campaign scrutiny

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- U.S. President Donald Trump sharply increased the amount of money he gave away through his foundation last year as the charity drew scrutiny during the campaign. A 2016 tax return posted on the non-profit monitoring website GuideStar shows that the Donald J. Source
  • Family of reservist killed during training says he'd just graduated university

    Canada News CTV News
    CFB SHILO, Man. - The family of a reservist killed during a military training exercise in Manitoba says he'd just graduated from university last month. Cpl. Nolan Caribou's family has released a statement through the military after the infantryman died while training at Canadian Forces Base Shilo. Source
  • CBS suspends Charlie Rose after report of allegations from 8 women

    World News CTV News
    FILE - In this Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016, file photo, Charlie Rose participates in the "CBS This Morning" panel at the CBS 2016 Winter TCA in Pasadena, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File) Source
  • Vehicles hit three snowy owls in southern Ontario in past week

    Canada News CTV News
    Snowy owls have started to arrive in southern Ontario for the season, but human threats linger when it comes to their winter home. Lesley McDonell, a terrestrial ecologist at the Hamilton Conservation Authority in Hamilton, Ont. Source
  • UBC denies mishandling sex assault complaints in response to human rights cases

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- The University of British Columbia has denied mishandling sexual assault reports in documents filed with the province's human rights tribunal. History graduate Glynnis Kirchmeier and engineering student Stephanie Hale have launched separate complaints with the tribunal over the school's response to sexual violence. Source
  • Advertising on icebergs? A Newfoundland man plans to try

    Canada News CTV News
    A Newfoundland man says he plans to auction off the opportunity to advertise on an iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean next spring. Larry Daley of St. John's says on his website that he’s organizing the live advertising event, which the website says will go “go viral. Source
  • Army is the new hero in town, though not everyone is buying it

    World News CBC News
    "Give it up for our soldiers," shouts the young woman standing in front of a tank to the crowd, a smile big enough to stretch the length of the Zambezi river lighting up her face. "We want to big up Mr. Source
  • Merkel bloodied but still standing after breakdown in coalition talks

    World News CBC News
    In the political rubble and name-calling in Germany, the headline was devastating: "Merkel's Defeat." That was how Holger Steltzner, the commentator for the prestigious Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, labelled his analysis on Monday. The Jamaica coalition talks — so called because the colours of the political parties involved are those of the Jamaican flag — had collapsed overnight. Source
  • Prosecutors open probe into possible 'public propagating of fascism' at Polish march

    World News CBC News
    Prosecutors in Poland opened an investigation Monday to determine if statements expressed during a march by far-right nationalists in Warsaw this month violated laws against propagating racism. The march held on Nov. 11, Poland's Independence Day, drew an estimated 60,000 participants. Source
  • Yukon releases recreational pot policy, proposes 19 as minimum age

    Canada News CTV News
    WHITEHORSE -- The legal age for the consumption of recreational marijuana would be set at 19 in Yukon under proposals released Monday by the territory's government. The policy also includes limiting possession to 30 grams and allowing four plants to be grown per household. Source