Yemen's loyalists, rebels vow to respect truce

Houthi supporters carry the coffin of a militia member allegedly killed in recent fighting with Saudi-backed Yemeni forces ahead of a UN-announced ceasefire, on April 10, 2016.
Houthi supporters carry the coffin of a militia member allegedly killed in recent fighting with Saudi-backed Yemeni forces ahead of a UN-announced ceasefire, on April 10, 2016. PHOTO: EPA

SANAA (AFP) - Loyalist and rebel forces in Yemen each pledged to honour a truce which began at midnight Sunday (2100 GMT) ahead of new talks aimed at ending more than a year of war.

The Iran-backed Huthis, along with allied troops loyal to ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh, have sent the United Nations a letter committing to "cease land, sea and air military operations" throughout Yemen, according to a communique carried by the rebel-run Saba news agency.

The chief of staff of forces loyal to President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi confirmed "the ceasefire has taken effect".

General Mohamed Ali al-Makdashi told reporters that "we are going to respect it... unless the Huthi rebels violate it".

A Saudi-led coalition has for more than a year been supporting the Hadi forces against the Huthis who seized much of Yemen including the capital Sanaa.

The coalition also said it would respect the truce.