A five day truce, called for by the pro-government Arab-led coalition in Yemen, has already been broken by shelling and clashes between Houthi Rebel fighters and pro-government troops.
According to the Saudi press agency, the ceasefire came at the request of Yemen’s President Hadi, who wanted the truce for the “delivery and distribution of the maximum amount of humanitarian and medical aid.”
However, within just 90 minutes of the truce coming into effect, the Houthis were reportedly shelling residential areas in the country’s third largest city of Taiz, and were regrouping to take control of the city.
The Houthi rebels earlier on Sunday had rejected the humanitarian ceasefire, saying the truce would give pro-government fighters a chance to regroup.
In announcing the truce, a spokesman for the coalition said: “Military actions by coalition forces will be stopped, yet if Houthi militias and forces loyal to them may launch military operations or build up military movements in any area, they would be confronted by the coalition forces.”
Two previous ceasefires have also failed to take hold.
Iona Craig, an independent journalist, told Al Jazeera that the ceasefire was vital as people in many areas of the country were running out of basic staples such as water, rice, flour, fruit, vegetables and fuel.
According to Craig: “Ground blockades by the Houthi forces have been stopping aid and cutting off places like Aden and preventing food supplies and medical supplies from getting in.”
- Pray for Yemen, for the Houthis and Coalition forces to all agree to a ceasefire and to commit to keeping it.
- Pray for aid and medical supplies to reach the areas of Yemen where it is most needed, for the free and fair distribution of aid and for an end to blockades which prevent supplies from getting through.
- Pray for wisdom for those seeking to bring an end to the war, and for a way forward to healing and hope for this desperate land.