Hope as Ye­men peace talks get un­der way

The Herald (South Africa) - - World -

Talks be­tween Ye­men’s gov­ern­ment and rebels, locked in a dev­as­tat­ing war for nearly four years, opened on Thurs­day as ten­sion re­mained high de­spite what the UN en­voy called a crit­i­cal op­por­tu­nity.

Ye­men’s war­ring sides agreed to free thou­sands of pris­on­ers on Wed­nes­day, in what a UN me­di­a­tor called a hope­ful start to the first peace talks in years to end a war that has pushed mil­lions of peo­ple to the verge of star­va­tion.

UN me­di­a­tor Martin Grif­fiths said just get­ting the war­ring sides to the ta­ble was an im­por­tant mile­stone.

The war has killed tens of thou­sands of peo­ple and spawned what the UN calls the world’s direst hu­man­i­tar­ian cri­sis, since a Saudi-led Arab coali­tion in­ter­vened in 2015 to re­store a gov­ern­ment ousted by the Iran-aligned Houthi move­ment. –

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