Yemen's Houthi rebels say they reject "fragmented peace solution"

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SANAA, April 23 (Xinhua) -- Yemen's Houthi rebels on Thursday said they "reject any fragmented solutions or agreements," in reference to the last call of nationwide cease-fire in Yemen asked by the United Nations Security Council.

"The (Houthi) Supreme Political Council, in its meeting today (Thursday) chaired by the President of the Council Mahdi Al-Mashat, affirmed its rejection to any fragmented solutions or agreements," the Houthi group said in a statement aired by the group's al-Masirah television.

"The Supreme Political Council expressed surprise at the Saudi-led coalition's claim of the two-week cease-fire initiative, while it is escalating fighting and mobilizing forces at the same time," the group said, referring to the Saudi-led coalition cease-fire initiative that began two weeks ago and was scheduled to end on April 23.

The Houthis accused the coalition of misleading the international community by claiming it carried out its unilateral two-week cease-fire in Yemen.

"The Saudi-led coalition has launched 57 overland attacks and around 500 airstrikes on Yemen over the past two weeks," the Houthi said in the statement.

Meanwhile, the Saudi-led coalition has made no comment yet on the Yemeni Houthis' claim.

Yemen has been mired in civil war for five whole years, pitting the Iran-allied Houthi rebels against the Saudi-backed government forces of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Saudi Arabia has been leading a coalition force defending the internationally recognized Yemeni government against the Houthi rebels.

On April 8, the Saudi-led Arab coalition declared a unilateral two-week cease-fire in Yemen for fear that the raging coronavirus pandemic may reach the country which is witnessing the world's biggest humanitarian crisis.

The coalition's move came in response to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' March 25 call for a nationwide cease-fire in Yemen in the context of a possible outbreak of COVID-19. Yemen has so far reported one laboratory-confirmed coronavirus case in the southeastern province of Hadramout.

On April 17, the Security Council welcomed the announcement of the unilateral cease-fire by the Saudi-led military coalition, which is fighting the Houthis in Yemen. They welcomed the Yemeni government's positive response to the cease-fire call, and called on the Houthis to make similar commitments without delay.

UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths has asked the Yemeni warring parties to seize the opportunity for peace, a nationwide cease-fire, confidence-building measures, and the restart of the political process as soon as possible.

However, the fighting has been escalating on multiple frontlines. Enditem

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