The ceasefire is intended to help prevent a coronavirus outbreak in Yemen, while also allowing for a reduction in fighting, the Saudi state news agency SPA said, adding it comes after the United Nation’s call for global fighting to de-escalate amidst theCOVID-19 pandemic.
Although there was no immediate comment by the Houthis, the group’s spokesman Mohammed Abdulsalam said on Wednesday that they sent to the U.N. a comprehensive vision which includes an end to the five-year war and to "the blockade" imposed on Yemen.
"[Our proposal] will lay the foundations for political dialogue and a transitional period," Abdulsalam said in a Twitter post.
On March 29, U.N. Yemen Envoy Martin Griffiths reiterated a call for an immediate cessation of hostilities to build momentum for a nationwide ceasefire. The proposal called for a nationwide ceasefire and for both warring sides to ensure compliance by forces on frontlines.
"Yemen needs its leaders to focus every minute of their time on averting and mitigating the potentially disastrous consequences of a COVID-19 outbreak," Griffiths said in a statement.
The seemingly endless Yemeni civil war started on March 26, 2015, when Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates led a coalition in a military campaign against the Houthis, to restore the Saudi-backed government of ousted Abd-Rabu Mansour Hadi.
The conflict has killed more than 100,000 people, as well as an estimated 85,000 people who died as a result of famine. The UN said the country is facing the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.