Video: UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg on July 11, 2022 called for a longer extension and an expansion of the truce in the country. (Xinhua)
The truce has resulted in a significant reduction in civilian casualties, with the number of civilian casualties reduced by two-thirds compared with the three months before the truce began, says Hans Grundberg.
UNITED NATIONS, July 12 (Xinhua) -- UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg on Monday called for a longer extension and an expansion of the truce in the country.
The truce in Yemen, first enforced on April 2 and renewed for another two months on June 2, expires in a few weeks.
"Three and a half months into the truce, we still find ourselves immersed in the details of truce implementation," Grundberg told the Security Council in a briefing.
"It has meant we have not been able to invest as much in the task of consolidating and expanding the truce in order to deliver more benefits to the population and set Yemen on the path toward a durable political settlement," said Grundberg.
"In my discussions with the parties, they have emphasized the importance of building on the truce to achieve a wider array of economic and security priorities, and to not lose the opportunity for peace that it provides," he said, adding that he will continue to explore with the parties the possibility of a longer extension and an expanded truce agreement.
UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg (on screens) speaks at a Security Council meeting on Yemen via a video link, at the UN headquarters in New York, on July 11, 2022. (Loey Felipe/UN Photo/Handout via Xinhua)
This would provide time and the opportunity to start serious discussions on the economy and security tracks, to start addressing priority issues such as revenues as well as the payment of salaries, and to begin the process of moving toward a cease-fire, he said.
"In the last weeks, we have seen worrisome escalatory rhetoric by the parties questioning the benefits of the truce … Let us be clear, the alternative to the truce is a return to hostilities and likely an intensified phase of conflict with all of its predictable consequences for Yemeni civilians and regional security," he said.
The truce has resulted in a significant reduction in civilian casualties, with the number of civilian casualties reduced by two-thirds compared with the three months before the truce began, he said.
The renewal of the truce on June 2 has allowed the continued flow of fuel into Hodeidah port. The flow of fuel imports has helped to avoid disruptions in essential public services, such as clean water, health care, electricity, and transportation, and has made a valuable difference to the daily lives and well-being of Yemenis, he said.
Since the start of the truce, 15 commercial round-trip flights have transported almost 7,000 passengers between Sanaa and Amman. His office continues to work closely with the Egyptian authorities to facilitate regular flights to and from Cairo, he said.
"The truce represents the best opportunity for peace in Yemen we have had in years and we should encourage and support the parties to make the most of this opportunity for the benefit of Yemen as a whole," said Grundberg. ■