Houthis cautiously welcome plan for Yemen ceasefire

Rebels push for talks under umbrella of UN, not the Saudi-led coalition which has continued air raids since March.

Houthi fighters have said in a statement that they would deal “positively” with any efforts to lift the suffering of the Yemeni people, a sign that they could accept a five-day humanitarian ceasefire proposed by Saudi Arabia.

The Houthis political council said on Sunday that they would like to see humanitarian aid delivered to the Yemeni people as soon as possible.

The statement added that the Houthis want talks between political factions to be held under the umbrella of the United Nations. Rebel sources told Al Jazeera that the group would never accept talks to be held in Riyadh, or any other nation involved in the Arab coalition that has been bombing the country since March 26.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir announced a proposal on Thursday for a five-day ceasefire to facilitate humanitarian aid to civilians, but only on the condition that the Houthi rebels also halt the fighting.

The proposed truce, if agreed, would begin on Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia offers ceasefire to Yemen’s Houthis

Al Jazeera’s Mohamed Vall, reporting from Saudi capital, Riyadh, said that a Houthi foreign affairs spokesman had also written on social media that the rebels may accept the truce, if it was “real and serious”.

“We still wait for more confirmation from the Houthi side – more official confirmation,” our correspondent said.

“For the first time since the Saudis offered the truce, these are signs that [the Houthis] might be thinking of accepting the truce.”

Saleh’s residence bombed

Meanwhile, warplanes from the Saudi-led coalition bombed the residence of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh in the capital, Sanaa, but Yemen’s former president is believed to be safe, witnesses have said.

Three air strikes hit Saleh’s residence, but the ex-president and his family are “well”, Yemeni news agency Khabar said, according to the Reuters news agency.

Social media accounts later posted pictures of what appeared to be Saleh speaking in front of his ruined home after the strike. Al Jazeera could not independently verify the photos.

Plumes of smoke were seen rising from the area in the latest strike in Sanaa following a night of intensive air raids against rebel positions after rebels shelled Saudi border town on Thursday.

Saleh, who stepped down in 2012 following a year of deadly nationwide protests against his three-decade rule, is accused of siding with Houthi fighters who ousted UN-backed President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi in February. 

The latest strikes in the capital came after the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen said that the coalition’s recent air strikes on Saada city in Yemen are in breach of international law

The raging conflict in Yemen has killed over 1,400 people – many of them civilians – since March 19, according to the United Nations.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies