The UN Security Council on Friday praised the Yemeni government’s decision to extend a cease-fire with the Houthis that had been reached the day before.
Members of the council, on the other hand, voiced worry about the serious humanitarian consequences of continuous road closures in the Taiz area, and urged the Iran-backed militia to “act with flexibility in negotiations and swiftly open the important highways.”

Since 2015, when the Houthis closed important roads and encircled the city center, effectively sealing it off from the rest of the country, Taiz governorate has been under siege. Despite the prolongation of a truce between militia and government forces this week, it remains under siege.

The council members expressed their gratitude for all parties’ efforts to maintain the cease-fire, which began on April 2 and has now been extended for another two months. According to them, it has resulted in “real and practical benefits” for the Yemeni people, such as a dramatic reduction in civilian casualties and increased humanitarian aid flow.

They praised the Yemeni government’s flexibility in allowing ships carrying gasoline to enter Hodeidah port and resuming international flights between Sanaa, Amman, and Cairo in a joint statement. They also expressed gratitude to regional partners for their assistance.

The UN Security Council hopes that the cease-fire will lead to “a long-term cease-fire and an inclusive, comprehensive political settlement under UN auspices.” Members stressed the importance of women having a minimum of 30% participation in decision-making processes in Yemen, as outlined in the National Dialogue Conference’s results and incorporated in Security Council Resolution 2624, which was approved this year.

They urged all parties in Yemen to keep talking to the UN’s special envoy for the nation and “negotiate and communicate with each other in a spirit of mutual respect and reconciliation.”

Famine is also a major issue, according to council members, who urged international donors to fully finance the UN’s humanitarian response.

They also stressed the importance of “an inclusive, comprehensive political settlement to solve humanitarian and economic issues, as well as to safeguard civilians.”

The UN Commission on Human Rights’ spokesperson also restated the commission’s repeated plea for the city’s reopening, saying that the blockade’s repercussions are “dire.”

On Friday, UNHCR spokesman Liz Throssell said, “We urge significant efforts to guarantee that highways into the city of Taiz are reopened.”

Residents of Taiz are hoping that UN-sponsored discussions in Amman will result in a compromise that allows them to return to work and school while also allowing supplies and goods to flow freely.

Mohsen Al-Najdi, a 53-year-old blood cancer patient, must travel more than three hours along narrow mountain roads to Taiz to receive chemotherapy. It took him less than an hour to go from his rural home to the city before the Houthis encircled it.

“Sometimes I miss appointments due to a flat tire or other issues on the uneven roads… because treatment is only offered until 2 p.m.,” Najdi, a teacher, explained. “I wanted to go to Cairo but couldn’t afford it… God’s door is always open, so perhaps a generous donor can assist.”

The governorate of Taiz has a population of 5 million people, with 400,000 living in the city. The governorate’s industrial regions are under Houthi control, and road closures have pushed up food and fuel prices and hindered access to vital services.

“Either in terms of education or health care, Taiz lacks the necessities of normal human life.” Many people perish on the mountain roads,” said Anisa Al-Yousefi, a local resident.

Mohammed Mahrous, a Taiz local, has not been allowed to see his relatives in seven years. “Living under siege even within the city, as if you were in a large prison, is sad,” he remarked.

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