The Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen has declared a two-week ceasefire in a bid to stem the spread of the coronavirus in the war-torn country, according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
The ceasefire in the five-year conflict was set to begin Thursday, according to coalition spokesman Col. Turki al-Malki. SPA said the move was prompted by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ call for a pause of hostilities in the country in order to counter the spread of Covid-19.
The coronavirus has now infected more than 1.5 million people and killed over 88,000 worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Malki also said the temporary ceasefire would pave the way for talks between the Saudi-backed government in Aden, and Iran-backed Houthi rebels based in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa.