Washington, DC – The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) applauds news that Yemen’s warring parties have agreed to extend the UN-brokered truce for two additional months. The renewal agreement came hours after an Omani delegation concluded three-day talks with the Houthi leadership, in the Yemeni capital of Sana’a. This announcement offers new hope that an end to the seven-year war and humanitarian crisis might finally be possible.
Contact: Hassan El-Tayyab, email@example.com, (202) 903-2516
“As we join with the people of Yemen and peacebuilders everywhere to celebrate the extension of the truce, we know much more must be done to address the suffering of millions who have lived through over seven years of war,” said FCNL’s General Secretary Bridget Moix. “It’s critical Congress and the Biden administration do all they can to support continued negotiations for a comprehensive and lasting settlement as well as long-term peacebuilding.”
The truce in Yemen initially began on April 2 and was extended June 2. This has been the first extended period of time since the start of the war eight years ago without sustained Saudi airstrikes on Yemen or Houthi drone attacks on Saudi targets. According to the Norwegian Refugee Council, the number of Yemeni civilians killed and injured was reduced by over 50 percent during the first month of the truce, from April to May. But even with a temporary truce in place, the humanitarian crisis in Yemen is still desperate. There are millions still relying on food assistance for survival, and significant issues remain unresolved between the warring parties, including lifting restrictions on Sana’a airport and Yemen’s Red Sea seaports, and opening roads in Taiz and other Yemeni governorates.
Throughout 2022, the FCNL Advocacy Teams network have held hundreds of lobby visits with lawmakers in support of ending U.S. participation in the Saudi-led war and blockade on Yemen. This week’s progress is due in large part to the persistent work of grassroots advocates, in solidarity with Yemeni-Americans, faith groups, and peace organizations, all around the United States and across the globe.
“In the first four months of truce there have been major improvements in the lives of Yemenis, due to a significant reduction in cross-border attacks and a loosening of restrictions on movement and access,” said Hassan El-Tayyab, FCNL’s legislative director for Middle East policy. “Congress must help prevent backsliding by Saudi Arabia, which has driven so much of the violence through indiscriminate airstrikes and a crippling blockade, by passing the Yemen War Powers Resolution and blocking U.S. involvement in any renewed hostilities. By making clear that the U.S. won’t resume military support for the war, Congress can help keep the pressure on the warring parties and support the peace process.”