Middle East

Yemen: Truce Bites the Dust, Risking War Big Time, Warns Security Council

New uncertainty and “a heightened risk of war” now prevails across Yemen, following the end of a long truce which brought significant dividends, the UN Special Envoy Hans Grundberg told the Security Council on Thursday.

He told ambassadors that since the truce began, six and a half months ago, it had started to alleviate the suffering of Yemenis, after more than seven years of civil war, and offered “a truly historic opportunity” to work towards a lasting settlement.

But the period of relative peace between internationally recognized Government forces and Houthi rebels ended 11 days ago, and now both must choose to either “preserve and build on the truce”, or return to war.

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Truce successes

“The achievement and benefits of the truce should not be underestimated”, he said, flagging that it brought “the longest period of calm yet”.

Mr. Grundberg said during the pause in fighting, there had been no major military operations, and a 60 per cent decrease in casualties.

Sana’a airport had finally opened to international passengers, enabling almost 27,000 Yemenis to get medical treatment overseas, and pursue educational or business opportunities abroad.

Over 1.4 million metric tonnes of fuel had been delivered to the crucial Hudaydah ports on the Red Sea; and there had been UN-brokered face-to-face meetings on military de-escalation.

“It is important to remember that the truce was never intended as an end in itself, but as a building block to enhance trust between the parties and establish a conducive environment to work toward a political solution to the conflict”, the UN envoy reminded.

New truce still possible

The UN official informed the ambassadors of his relentless efforts to engage the parties as well as regional and international partners on renewal options, highlighting discussions in Abu Dhabi and Muscat.

I personally believe that there is still a possibility for the parties to come to an agreement”, Mr. Grundberg said.

“With the stakes this high, it is critical that we do not lose this opportunity. The parties need to demonstrate the leadership, compromise and flexibility required to urgently reach an agreement on the renewal and expansion of the truce”.

The Special Envoy thanked the Council for its continued steadfast support and maintained that its united position on the renewal and expansion of the truce “has made it clear that the international community expects the parties to reach an agreement with a sense of urgency”.

UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Hans Grundberg (left), Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, and Joyce Msuya, Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, brief the UN Security Council on the situation in the country.

Reduce mine threat

Briefing via video connection from Hudaydah, the governorate most impacted by landmines and explosive hazards, UN Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, Joyce Msuya, described the “terrible dangers” still being faced by civilians.

“Landmines and other explosive hazards have continued to be the main cause of civilian casualties”, she said, noting that last month 70 people were reportedly killed or injured by landmines, improvised explosive devices and unexploded ordnance.

But the impacts go far beyond killing and maiming, “they convert simple everyday activities, like farming, fishing or walking to school, into possible life-or-death scenarios,” she added.

“We need urgent action to reduce this threat, including increased support for demining projects and facilitation of the importation of equipment”, she underscored.


UNHCR/Hugh Macleod

In Mazrak, Yemen, a five year-old girl, diagnosed as malnourished, is given a pink wristband to wear to show she has not been getting enough to eat.

‘A path forward’

At the same time, she told the Council the country’s deteriorating economy and collapsing basic services were triggering other perils.

Over the past six days, Ms. Msuya said she had seen first-hand, markets without food and basic goods, and hospitals and schools lacking fundamental equipment, with “doctors and teachers who are not being paid enough – if at all”.

“Humanitarians are doing their best to address the most urgent needs, but we cannot do this alone, and we cannot substitute the roles of others”, she stated, requesting support from donors, development actors and international financial institutions “to turn this tide and chart a path forward”.



  1. It’s truly heartbreaking to see the peace unravel in Yemen after the long truce. Hopefully, both sides will come to their senses and choose peace over war for the sake of innocent civilians.

  2. How will the recent truce breakdown affect the humanitarian situation in Yemen?

    1. The breakdown of the recent truce in Yemen will undoubtedly worsen the already dire humanitarian situation in the country. With the return to conflict, there is a heightened risk of further displacement, destruction of essential infrastructure, and increased civilian casualties. Humanitarian organizations will face even greater challenges in delivering aid to those in need amidst the turmoil. It is crucial for all parties involved to prioritize the well-being of the Yemeni people and seek a peaceful resolution to avoid further suffering.

  3. The truce seems to have brought significant improvements to the situation in Yemen, offering hope for a lasting settlement. It’s concerning to see the potential return to war, risking the progress made and increasing the suffering of the Yemeni people.

  4. It’s disheartening to see the truce come to an end, risking the return of devastating war in Yemen. The progress made during the ceasefire period should not be overlooked. The international community must come together to push for a lasting peace and prevent further suffering for the Yemeni people.

  5. “It’s heartbreaking to see the truce come to an end, risking the peace that Yemenis desperately needed after years of suffering. Both sides must seriously consider the consequences of returning to war.”

  6. Could you clarify why the truce in Yemen ended and what factors are now risking the possibility of war escalating again?

    1. Hi EmilySmith, the truce in Yemen ended due to the failure of both the internationally recognized Government forces and Houthi rebels to uphold the agreement. The risk of war escalating again is mainly due to the renewed hostilities and lack of commitment to preserving the peace that the truce had brought. Hopefully, both parties will reconsider their positions and choose dialogue over conflict.

  7. It’s disheartening to see the truce crumble, risking the lives of thousands in Yemen. The benefits and achievements of the truce must not be understated, as it brought a much-needed period of calm and decreased casualties significantly. Let’s hope both sides can prioritize peace over war in this critical time.

  8. Do you think the return to war was inevitable, or could more efforts have been made to preserve the truce?

    1. More efforts could have been made to preserve the truce. It was a crucial moment for Yemen, and all parties involved needed to commit to resolving their differences through dialogue and diplomacy rather than resorting to violence.

  9. I think it’s such a shame that the truce has ended in Yemen. The progress made during the past six and a half months was significant in alleviating the suffering of the people. Hopefully, the parties involved will choose to preserve peace rather than return to war.

  10. It’s sad to see the truce come to an end, risking the return of war. I truly hope both sides can find a way to continue building on the progress made during the ceasefire.

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