A 72-hour ceasefire is set to start in Yemen on Wednesday night, the UN envoy said on Monday, 17 October. Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said he got assurances from all parties concerned in Yemen for the cessation of hostilities to begin at 11.59pm local time (8.59pm GMT) on Wednesday and it could be renewed after the first three days, the UN said in a statement.
"The Special Envoy welcomes the restoration of the Cessation of Hostilities, which will spare the Yemeni people further bloodshed and will allow for the expanded delivery of humanitarian assistance," the statement added.
Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdel-Malek al-Mekhlafi, on Monday tweeted that President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi had agreed to the ceasefire.
"The president agreed to a 72 hrs ceasefire to be extended if the other party adheres to it, activates the DCC and lifts the siege of Taiz", he added. The DCC is the military commission that oversees ceasefires in Yemen.
The exiled government has been requesting access to Taiz, a city that is mostly controlled by the Houthi rebels. The forces backed by the Hadi government have control of only one of the four access routes. Yemen's northern half is controlled by the Houthis backed by Iran and their allies loyal to ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh. The other half of the country is controlled by forces loyal to Hadi.
Saudi Foreign Minister, Adel al-Jubeir on Monday said that they were ready to accept a ceasefire if the Houthis were, but said he had reservations considering previous failed attempts. Since March 2015, the Saudi-led coalition have conducted air strikes and stationed troops in Yemen to support the Hadi government. At least 3,800 civilians have been killed in the conflict according to UN estimates.
The ceasefire announcement also comes after US and Britain urged an immediate ceasefire after a Saudi-led coalition air strike on a funeral gathering in the capital of Sana'a killed more than 140 people on 8 October.
US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday, after a meeting with UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson: "This is the time to implement a ceasefire unconditionally and then move to the negotiating table. We cannot emphasise enough today the urgency of ending the violence in Yemen."