ABU DHABI, 18th November, 2016 (WAM)– Any ceasefire in Yemen is most welcome, but the rebels have spoken about peace before and acted with bullets and bombs, a local newspaper said on Friday, concluding that it is difficult to trust the Houthi rebels.

“Yes, no doubt an element of suspicion is needed when Al Houthis say they are willing to stop shooting and respect the ceasefire. That scepticism is based on past events, when Al Houthis used ceasefires to build and strengthen their rebel forces; refusing to hand over heavy weaponry; or simply sitting in Kuwait City for weeks on end, talking about peace, but failing to act in any meaningful way to deliver it,” the Gulf News said in an editorial.

The conflict has resulted in difficult times for Yemen, with terrorist elements within its borders taking advantage of the chaos and increasing the misery and deprivation on the civilian population, the Dubai-based daily added. “And as much as Al Houthis are a threat to the legitimacy of the nation, the existence of terrorist groups like Daesh and al-Qaeda further destabilise and add an unstable element to what is already a precarious equation.”

While it’s too early to say if the terms of the ceasefire, brokered by US Secretary of State John Kerry, have been implemented, peace and stability can’t come soon enough for Yemenis, the paper said, noting that the ceasefire was supposed to take hold in Yemen on Thursday in an effort to end nearly 20 months of conflict caused by the overthrow of the legitimate government of President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi by Al Houthi rebels.

The overthrow of the legitimate government, it noted, led to a series of United Nations Security Council resolutions that ultimately authorised a Saudi Arabia-led international coalition – of which the UAE is proud to have played its part – to take on the Iranian-backed Al Houthis and restore the legitimate Yemeni government.

The UAE and its allies have pledged to reconstruct a better Yemen, building schools, improving water supply, providing hospitals, rebuilding a broken infrastructure and making sure the apparatus of government works for all and not just those who support Al Houthi’s sectarian cause, the daily paper added.

“Yesterday, Al Houthi representatives said they would abide by the ceasefire Let’s hope this time they are true to their word. For the millions of Yemenis who are undernourished and lack a steady supply of food, peace is needed; for the millions of Yemenis who lack a secure and clean supply of water, stability is required; and the hundreds of thousands who have been displaced as a result of Al Houthis’ rebellious acts, a dream of returning home must again be a reality,” the Gulf News said.

WAM/MMYS