The ceasefire in Yemen is "fragile but largely holding" the UN special envoy to the country announced on Friday.

A 72-hour halt to the fighting began on Wednesday at midnight following a month of intense clashes between government forces and Houthi rebels.

An estimated 12 million people in Yemen, nearly half of the population, are in need of some form of humanitarian assistance.

Jocelyne Sambira reports.

The United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, has welcomed the start of the cessation of hostilities.

In a statement released by his Office, Mr Ahmed urged all parties to the conflict to work to ensure the terms are fully respected.

The general security situation has improved, he insisted, despite reported cases of violations in other areas like Taiz and the borders with Saudi Arabia.

According to media reports, the Houthi rebels are being accused of repeatedly violating the ceasefire.

Mr Ahmed said he is interacting with the parties to agree on extending the ceasefire and called on all sides to show restraint and avoid further escalation.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 43?

Source: United Nations Radio.

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