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Yemen pause will be ‘useless’: Saudi official


map of yemenA humanitarian pause in the war in Yemen will be “useless” because rebels and their allies have shown no readiness to abide by it, a Saudi official said Friday.

The United Nations announced the pause, to take effect from 2059 GMT Friday, to allow aid to reach millions of Yemenis on the brink of famine.

A Saudi-led coalition launched bombing raids in March on Iran-backed Huthi rebels in Yemen to support forces loyal to exiled President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.

“I believe the coalition has not received… any evidence of commitment of the other party,” said the official who asked not to be identified.

“We believe that this pause will be useless.”

He added that the rebels do not have full control of all of their allied forces.

The coalition in May accused the Huthis of numerous violations of a five-day truce which at that time was proposed by Saudi Arabia.

Among the transgressions it cited were rockets fire from Yemen which landed in Saudi border districts.

“We should not let that happen again,” the Saudi official said.

The coalition also accused the rebels of moving missiles towards the Saudi frontier during the last truce.

After halting air strikes for the five days, coalition bombing resumed an hour after the pause ended.

The coalition believes rebels will “abuse” the new pause but, if they make commitments to respect it, “definitely the coalition will” do the same, the official said.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in New York that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has received assurances from Hadi and the Huthi rebels that they will respect the pause.

It is to last for six days until the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

The UN says violence has been escalating and humanitarian access decreasing in a war zone where more than 3,200 people have died and millions need assistance.

On the Saudi side of the border, at least 44 civilians and troops have been killed in skirmishes and shelling.

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