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Yemeni peace talks resume in Kuwait after three-day suspension

By
Martin Smith
Houthi rebels and their allies are still in control of the capital, Sanaa. File Photo by Mohammad Abdullah/UPI
Houthi rebels and their allies are still in control of the capital, Sanaa. File Photo by Mohammad Abdullah/UPI | License Photo

KUWAIT CITY, May 4 (UPI) -- Yemen's warring parties resumed United Nations-brokered peace talks in Kuwait on Wednesday.

The latest development comes three days after the government delegation walked out in protest over cease-fire violations following an attack by Iran-backed Houthis on a military base near the capital Sanaa.

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Abdelmalek Al Mekhlafi, the government's top delegate at the negotiations, said the rebels' takeover of the base in the Amran province had "torpedoed" the talks.

But now all parties are back at the table. The talks, which began April 11, are an attempt to resolve the conflict in the Arab country, which has seen more than 6,400 people killed and 2.5 million forced from their homes. Most of the civilian casualties in the conflict have died in Saudi-led bombing raids, which have been going on since March last year, according to the U.N.

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Yemen has been in turmoil since September 2014, when the Houthis and their allies took control of Sanaa and other parts of the country. President Abdu Rabbo Mansour Hadi and his government were forced to flee to Riyadh.

The Yemeni government is demanding the immediate implementation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2216, which calls on the Houthis to withdraw from occupied cities and to lay down their arms.

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Meanwhile, New York-based rights group Human Rights Watch has called on Yemen's warring rivals to address what it called "war crimes" during the conflict.

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"It's crucial for the Yemen peace talks to address past atrocities as well as future political arrangements," Joe Stork, HRW's deputy Middle East director, said in a statement. "A mechanism should be put in place to investigate abuses, prosecute those responsible and assist the victims."

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