UN Special Envoy to Yemen Hans Grundberg said on Monday (8 November) after a visit to Yemen, that “Working for peace in Yemen is an uphill battle”. The statement came as the coalition announces dozens of deaths every day.
The Swedish diplomat was able to visit Taiz, a city besieged by the Houthis in southwest Yemen. During his visit, Grundberg met with Taiz’s governor, political party leaders, businessmen, activists and journalists.
The local government urged Grundberg to use his leverage to pressure the Houthis into lifting the siege, ending attacks on residential areas, stopping the use of landmines, and stopping the recruitment of children.
“Coming … to Taiz for the first time is important,” Grundberg said after his meeting with the governor. “It is a place that encompasses so many things that are central to all of Yemen. There is political plurality, entrepreneurial spirit, cultural and historical richness, and the strength to address the pain and difficulties that this war has inflicted on its people.
“We should never forget that there is always a way to break the cycle of violence. There are always opportunities for peaceful dialogue.”
Since last month, the coalition said it killed around 2500 Houthi fighters. AFP could not confirm the exact number of casualties and the Houthis do not release accurate figures of their losses.
“Working for peace in Yemen is an uphill battle,” Grundberg said. “However, we should never forget that there is always a way to break the cycle of violence. There are always opportunities for peaceful dialogue. And the people of Taiz know this too well.
“All in all, Taiz is the reminder of the possibility of a pluralistic Yemeni state, and remains a key part of achieving sustainable peace in Yemen.”
In parallel, the US Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking travelled to Aden on Monday (8 November) where he discussed, with the Yemeni prime minister and foreign minister, efforts to end the war, stop the Houthi offensive on Marib, implement the Riyadh Agreement and measures to safeguard the economy.