Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has urged a 15-day ceasefire to coincide with the Houthi rebels giving up their positions in all provinces and cities.
The ceasefire proposal was handed by the president himself to the UN envoy to Yemen in Saudi Arabia, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed. He was due to meet with rebel representatives on Friday to discuss the next steps, according to a UN source speaking to the AP.
The proposal by the president became the first official acknowledgement that it’s ready to discuss things in a peaceful way.
Under the proposed terms, Houthi rebels and forces allied to exiled President Ali Abdullah Saleh are to return immediately to the UN-brokered peace talks. The truce is to last for a minimum of 15 days, which could be extended “in conjunction with the withdrawal of the Houthi-Saleh militias from military and civil institutions of the state, all cities and provinces including Sanaa and Saadah.”
Further conditions include UN military observers to monitor the implementation.
Disarmament is another condition, at least concerning heavy and medium weapons – and an end to the use of child soldiers. The proposal promised to deal “firmly” with the warring sides, should the truce be breached.
The proposal also includes a UN arms embargo on rebel leaders and former President Saleh and his son.
This is not the first attempt at negotiating. In mid-June, a meeting in Geneva descended into chaos when a fistfight broke out between supporters of the warring parties. With the rebels now retreating, it remains to be seen if they are willing to sit down at the negotiating table again.