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article imageUN envoy seeks Yemen peace deal in coming weeks

By AFP     Oct 31, 2016 in World

The UN envoy for Yemen said Monday he will return to the region for talks on reaching a peace deal in the coming weeks, even though both sides have rejected his proposals.

"The ball is in the court of the Yemeni parties," Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed told the Security Council.

"What are the parties waiting for to sign a political agreement? Have they not understood that there are no winners in wars?"

The envoy has presented a roadmap to the Huthi rebels and their allies and the Yemeni government to end 18 months of war that has left nearly 7,000 dead, mostly civilians, and brought the country to its knees.

The proposals call for the appointment of a new vice president and the formation of a national unity government that will oversee a transition leading to elections.

Under the plan, the Huthis would withdraw from Sanaa, Hodeida and Taez and hand over their weapons in a process carried out in parallel with the new political arrangements.

One of the poorest countries in the Arab world, Yemen slid deeper into chaos when the Saudi-led coalition launched military operations in March 2015 in support of Yemen's President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.

Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed has served as the UN special envoy to Yemen since 2015
Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed has served as the UN special envoy to Yemen since 2015
Mohammed Huwais, AFP/File

Hadi on Sunday rejected the UN peace proposal, saying it "rewards the putschists" who seized power in Sanaa, while the rebels said the roadmap had "fundamental flaws."

Ould Cheikh Ahmed said he would return to the region immediately after his report to the council and that his proposed roadmap "should allow a comprehensive settlement in the coming weeks if the parties engage in good faith."

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