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Yemen update 12/16\2015.. On day one of ceasefire, Yemenis still fighting

Wednesday, December 16, 2015 20:18
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(Before It's News)

Saudi Arabia & allies violate Yemen ceasefire

Yemen warring sides agree on prisoner swap

Yemen’s truce in danger of collapse; prisoner swap blocked 

A ceasefire between Yemen’s
Houthi group and a Saudi-led alliance was in danger of collapse on
Wednesday, each side accusing the other of violating the truce, as peace
talks went into a second day in Switzerland.

Brigadier General Ahmed al-Assiri of the Saudi coalition
said the Iran-allied Houthis had repeatedly broken the ceasefire
supposed to begin at midday on Tuesday and that his forces were

The truce was intended to last seven
days and coincide with the peace talks to try to end a nine-month-old
civil war between the Houthis based in Yemen’s north and Saudi-backed
southern and eastern fighters loyal to President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Nearly 6,000 people have been killed in the fighting and millions displaced.

“The number of violations is around 150 and this does not
show honest intentions,” Assiri told al-Ekhbariya television.

“We urge the
United Nations to clarify to the Houthis that there will be no patience
towards these practices and the truce could collapse at any moment,” he
said, adding Saudi Arabia would not tolerate any attacks on its border
from Yemen.
remarks came after a spokesman for Yemeni government forces loyal to
former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, an ally of the Houthis, accused the
Saudi-led coalition of a “serious escalation by land, sea and air”,
according to the Houthi-controlled Saba news agency.

The spokesman, Brigadier General Sharaf Luqman, said strikes from the
sea were taking place on the Red Sea port city of Hodaida, ground forces
had attacked Taiz city in southwest Yemen and air strikes by the Arab
coalition had not stopped.

“We will respond
strongly towards the breaches that are taking place by the alliance and
their mercenaries,” the Houthi-run Saba news agency (
quoted Luqman as saying.

“Coalition planes launched an air strike on the positions of
the Houthis and Saleh forces in the Najd area of Sirwah district after
they repeatedly violated the ceasefire,” a tribal source said by
telephone from the central province of Mareb.

Residents in Taiz said there was an air strike
there after Houthi forces launched rockets on the area. Saudi state news
agency SPA said the Houthis had killed one of its officers in a border
area after the ceasefire was supposed to begin.


Local tribesmen held up a prisoner swap between the Houthis and southern fighters, local officials said.

Armed tribesmen from al-Baydah province in central Yemen
blocked roads leading to the exchange venue, demanding that their
relatives held by the Houthis also be included in the swap.

Officials from both sides had earlier said 360 Houthis and 265
southern Yemenis were on their way to be exchanged on the border between
Yafe and al-Bayda provinces at midday.

Residents said mediators were trying to persuade the al-Baydah tribesmen to allow the swap to proceed.
The prisoner swap, brokered by Yemeni tribal chiefs, had been one of the most positive signs yet in the conflict.
Most of the Houthi prisoners are fighters aged between 13
and 16, captured when the Southern Resistance retook the southern port
city of Aden in July.

Little official news has emerged from the Swiss talks organised
by the United Nations, but delegates reached through social media
sounded positive about the first two days of negotiations

On day one of ceasefire, Yemenis still fighting


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