Yemen parties agree to 48-hour ceasefire

Parties in Yemen have agreed to resume a cessation of hostilities for an initial period of 48 hours, the UN special envoy in the country has confirmed.

Since 2014, clashes between government forces and Houthi rebels have led to the death of around 10,000 people.

The truce is expected to re-enter into force on Saturday at midnight Yemen time.

Jocelyne Sambira has more.

The two-day halt ceasefire could be renewed automatically if respected, UN Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said.

The halt in the fighting is necessary to avoid further bloodshed and destruction and should allow for the expanded delivery of humanitarian assistance, he stressed.

Four out of every five of Yemen's 28 million people are in real and immediate need of assistance, according to UN estimates.

The Government and Houthi rebels have also agreed to reactive the De-escalation and Coordination Committee (DCC) and to deploy its members to Dhahran Al Janoub, a Saudi military base along the border with Yemen.

The members of the DCC will work alongside UN experts who have already deployed to restart the DCC's work in support of the Cessation of Hostilities.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 52"

Source: United Nations Radio.