UN envoy to Yemen says momentum to end the war is building


The U.N. envoy for Yemen said Friday the momentum to end the country’s devastating five-year war is building, pointing to a nearly 80 percent drop in airstrikes nationwide in the last two weeks, a strengthened cease-fire in the key port of Hodeida, and the beginning of the kind of leadership needed to restore peace to the Arab world’s poorest nation.

Martin Griffiths told the U.N. Security Council that developments since infighting between the internationally recognized government and separatists in Yemen’s south in August “are beginning to produce results.”

In possibly the most important sign “that something is changing,” he said the dramatic reduction in airstrikes compared with the two previous weeks indicated “a reduction in the tempo of the war, and perhaps a move towards an overall cease-fire.”

Griffiths also noted that the cessation of missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia by Houthi militia, which the group announced on Sept. 20, “has been sustained for a second month in a row.”