Yemeni troops open three roads in Taiz and Dhale as a show of goodwill

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AL-MUKALLA: Yemeni government troops on Thursday opened three main roads in Dhale and Taiz provinces as a sign of goodwill on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha and the implementation of a truce brokered by the UN.

The Joint Forces, an umbrella term for three large military units on the west coast of the country, unilaterally announced the opening of the main road connecting Mocha to Taiz city through Al-Bareh region on one side.

They urged the Iran-backed Houthis to open the road that crosses the areas under their control to Al-Bareh.

The same military forces opened the Al-Jarahi-Heys road in the western province of Hodeidah in April. Both roads have been closed for the past three years as government troops advanced into Houthi-held areas in Hodeidah and Taiz.

In the southern province of Dhale, Governor Ali Mohqbel Saleh on Thursday officially inaugurated two main roads connecting it to Sanaa and Ibb.

The first road connects Dhale to Sanaa, held by the Houthis, via Damet. The second connects Dhale to the central city of Ibb through the regions of Qa’tabah and Al-Fakher.

Saleh urged the Houthis to return the favor by opening roads under their control during the Eid holiday to ease the suffering of Yemenis.

“The ball is now in the court of the Houthi putschist militia, which must take the initiative and open the roads. The local authority appreciates all efforts made by the UN envoy, the legitimate government and all international organizations to open roads for commercial traffic, traffic and movement of citizens,” he said. he declared, quoted by the official media.

As part of the UN-brokered truce that came into effect on April 2, the warring factions agreed to halt hostilities, allow commercial flights to resume from Sanaa, ease restrictions on port of Hodeidah and to open roads in Taiz and other provinces.

Talks of opening roads to Taiz collapsed in Amman last month as the Houthis turned down two suggestions to open major roads in and out of Taiz. They alternately insisted on opening a small old road.

Houthi resistance to suggestions on Taiz has sparked local and international outrage, with people calling on the international community to criticize the militia for spoiling peace efforts to end the suffering of Yemenis.

Jean-Marie Safa, France’s ambassador to Yemen, on Thursday urged the Houthis to show the world they are serious about making peace in Yemen by opening roads in Taiz and other provinces. He thanked the Yemeni government for offering concessions during the talks on opening the roads.

“The opening of at least one main road in Taiz is the only way to end the suffering of the people of this city, to improve the humanitarian situation and an opportunity to confirm the Houthis’ choice of peace,” tweeted the ambassador.

Despite mounting pressure, the Houthis’ Supreme Political Council said on Wednesday the move would not open any main roads to Taiz until government troops defending the beleaguered city left.

He renewed his commitment to open a small road in Taiz.

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