Yemen's Warring Parties Agree Ceasefire To Start April 10: U.N.

Over 6,000 people, half of them civilians, have been killed since last March.

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The warring parties in Yemen have agreed to a cessation of hostilities starting at midnight on April 10 and peace talks in Kuwait beginning April 18, United Nations special envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said on Wednesday.

There have already been several failed attempts to defuse the conflict in Yemen, which has drawn in regional foes Saudi Arabia and Iran and triggered a humanitarian crisis in the Arab world's poorest country.

"This is really our last chance," Ould Cheikh Ahmed told reporters in New York. "The war in Yemen must be brought to an end."

A Saudi-led coalition began a military campaign in Yemen a year ago with the aim of preventing Iran-allied Houthi rebels and forces loyal to Yemen's ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh from taking control of the country.

Ould Cheikh Ahmed said Saudi Arabia is "fully committed to make sure that the next talks take place and particularly supports us with regard to the cessation of hostilities."

The United Nations says more than 6,000 people, half of them civilians, have been killed since the start of the Saudi-led military intervention whose ultimate aim is to restore President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to power.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), an affiliate of the global Sunni Muslim militant organization, has also expanded its foothold in the country as the government focuses on its battle with the Houthi rebels.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Chris Reese and James Dalgleish)



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