Yemeni civil society pushes for opening of roads to the city of Taiz despite Houthi reluctance
29 May 2022
Yemeni civil society groups are campaigning actively for the opening of roads connecting the Yemeni city of Taiz with other major urban centres despite reluctance by the Houthi rebel group. UN Special Envoy, Hans Grundberg, on Saturday (28 May) concluded an initial round of discussions in Amman, Jordan, attended by representatives of government and rebels on options to open key roads in Taiz and other governorates, as per the UN-mediated truce agreement signed in April. A proposal for the phased re-opening of roads, including an implementation mechanism and guarantees for the safety of civilian travelers was drawn up based on the three-day discussions and options presented by both sides. Civil society actors and local mediators, many of whom are from Taiz, also took part in the discussions by offering their insights and expertise as well as practical options for road openings. Dozens of human rights groups, activists, government officials and Taiz residents have launched a new campaign on social media, using hashtag #Siege_of_Taiz_crime, calling for the opening of roads to the city. Yemenis widely circulated images of cars loaded with goods and fuel overturning on the steep and unpaved slopes drivers were forced to turn to after the Houthis blocked the city’s main entrances.