NEW YORK: The UN on Thursday welcomed the announcement of the planned first commercial flight from Yemen’s Sanaa airport in six years, and urged parties to continue facilitating such flights in line with the truce agreed at the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the Amman-bound flight, scheduled to take off from Sanaa on Sunday, is an “important element” of the two-month truce agreement recently enacted in Yemen.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had hailed the truce as “the start of a better future for the people of Yemen.”
Dujarric thanked Jordan “for its support in bringing about this achievement, and the government of Yemen for its constructive role making this happen.
“We count on the continued facilitation of all parties involved to ensure a successful flight on Sunday, and to continue facilitating flights as per the terms of the truce agreement.”
Although the ceasefire is broadly holding, UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg said it is still fragile and temporary.
He expressed concern at the UN Security Council last week over military operations around Marib, and said such reports must be addressed urgently through the truce mechanisms.
One week into the ceasefire, fighting had broken out on the outskirts of Marib after the Houthi militia attacked government forces.
Yemen’s internationally recognized government has accused the Iran-backed militia of using the Ramadan truce to mobilize new combatants and military equipment.
Grundberg said: “I remind the parties that the truce should be used to progress toward ending the war, not to escalate it.”