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Pandemic spurs cease-fire in Yemen

by Onize Ohikere
Posted 4/09/20, 12:02 pm

The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen took the advice of the United Nations and announced a truce in the war with Houthi rebels during the coronavirus pandemic. The two-week, unilateral cease-fire begins Thursday, but the coalition could extend it to allow the warring sides to discuss a permanent solution. Yemen has no confirmed cases of COVID-19, but an outbreak could spread rapidly in the squalid conditions caused by the conflict.

Will the rebels respect the cease-fire? Hours after the coalition made the announcement, Yemen’s Information Ministry reported that Houthi rebels targeted the cities of Hodeidah and Marib with missiles. A spokesman for the rebel group told Lebanon’s Al-Mayadeen TV the insurgents want “a complete cessation of the war and the lifting of the siege once and for all.” The five-year war has led to the deaths of more than 100,000 people and triggered a humanitarian crisis.

Dig deeper: Read Mindy Belz’s report on how the pandemic presents a political test for Israel.

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Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD's Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria. Follow her on Twitter @onize_ohiks.

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