Yemen’s main warring factions endorse a U.N.-brokered humanitarian truce from midnight on Friday, although witnesses report continued fighting. Jillian Kitchener reports.
This is NOT what a ceasefire looks like. A wedding hall burns. Just hours before a UN-brokered truce took effect in Yemen, the capital of Sanaa was pounded with fresh Saudi-led airstrikes. Witnesses say airstrikes were heard after midnight... the time Yemen's main warring factions agreed to begin the so-called truce. It's set to end when Ramadan does and many Sanaa residents say, that's not good enough. They say what they really want is a permanent end to the three-month war. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SANAA RESIDENT, WAHIB AL HIANI, SAYING: "In my opinion, there is no truce in Yemen, but rather a break for the fighters on both sides. Now, both sides are working to re-organise and regroup and it is the Yemeni people who will pay the price..." The United Nations Security Council urged all parties to exercise restraint in cases of isolated violations... as they aim to get aid to some 21 million Yemenis. New Zealand Ambassador, Gerard Van Bohemen: (SOUNDBITE) (English) NEW ZEALAND'S U.N. AMBASSADOR GERARD VAN BOHEMEN, SAYING: "The members of the Security Council urged all parties to facilitate the urgent delivery of humanitarian assistance to all parts of Yemen, as well as rapid, safe and unhindered access to humanitarian actors..." A Saudi-led coalition has been bombing the Houthis and their army allies since late March, as part of a bid to restore power to exiled President Hadi. More than 3,000 people have since died in the violence.