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Arab coalition declares 48-hour Yemen truce

lipsed a UN conference which fought valiantly in Marrakesh to preserve momentum on curtailing climate change amid fears the mogul will fragment the global effort and starve it of cash.

World leaders, CEOs, negotiators and activists at the two-week meeting, which closed Friday, were clearly unsettled by the pending White House takeover of Trump, who has vowed to withdraw the US from a hard-won global agreement on climate change.

Analysts say a US exit would make it harder to achieve the 196-nation pact’s goals to limit planet warming, and likely result in a shortfall of billions of dollars promised to help developing countries fight against climate change and cope with its impacts.

“The biggest impact, I think, is on financing… the US federal government’s commitment to continue to finance clean energy,” Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists told AFP.

Trump looking at fast ways to quit global climate deal

“The thing that people seem to be most concerned about is: will the US fulfil the remaining $2.5 billion of the $3 billion pledge President Obama made to the Green Climate Fund (GCF)?”

The fund supports projects to make the shift away from greenhouse gas-emitting fossil fuels to renewable sources.

Trump, who has described climate change as a “hoax”, remained mum for the duration of the conference on whether he will execute his pre-election threats.

Amid the uncertainty, delegates to the 22nd UN climate conference put on a brave face.

Heads of state and cabinet ministers attending a “high-level segment” from Tuesday to Thursday this week reaffirmed their countries’ determination to push ahead, with or without Washington.

But no-one could ignore the elephant in the room.

“The process has taken a huge hit following the US election results,” said climate activist Mohamed Adow of Christian Aid, which represents the interests of poor countries at the UN negotiations.

“There is a lot of uncertainty about what’s going to happen next.”

Trump’s election has recalled the shock of 2001, when George W Bush refused to ratify the Paris Agreement’s predecessor, the Kyoto Protocol.
A Saudi-led coalition supporting Yemen’s government against Iran-backed rebels declared a 48-hour ceasefire to begin in Yemen Saturday, it said in a statement on the kingdom’s SPA news agency website.

“It has been decided to begin a 48-hour ceasefire from 12:00 noon in Yemen’s timing (0900 GMT) on Saturday,” the coalition statement said, adding that the truce could be renewed if the Huthi rebels and their allies abide by the deal and allow aid deliveries to besieged cities.

The coalition announcement followed a request for a ceasefire by Yemen’s President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi — himself based in Riyadh — to Saudi King Salman, the statement said.

Yemen’s Houthis launch missile toward Makkah

“Coalition forces will abide by the ceasefire”, it said, but warned that should the rebels or troops loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh make any military moves in the area the coalition would respond.

The naval and air “blockade” will also remain in place and surveillance jets will continue to fly over Yemen, it added. The coalition has been militarily supporting forces loyal to Hadi’s government since March 2015.

There was no word yet from the rebels on whether they would abide by the new truce.

US Secretary of State John Kerry had announced a ceasefire that was to have taken effect on Thursday, but there was intense fighting Friday, eliminating hopes of warring parties abiding by that truce.

The US chief diplomat had said after meeting with Huthi negotiators in Oman that they were ready to observe the ceasefire plan, but Hadi’s government said it was not aware of any new peace initiative.

Since Thursday, more than 50 people have been killed in clashes between the rebels and loyalists on the outskirts of the third biggest city Taez, medical and military sources said.

Six attempts to clinch a ceasefire in Yemen have foundered, including a three-day October truce that fell apart as soon as it went into force.

It was designed to allow aid deliveries to millions of homeless and hungry Yemenis.

US strike in Yemen kills five Qaeda members

The United Nations says more than 7,000 people have been killed and nearly 37,000 wounded in Yemen since the Arab coalition began its military campaign last year.

Meanwhile on the Saudi side of the border, a guard identified as Mohammed Jaafari was killed when a missile launched from Yemen crashed into a border post in the region of Aseer on Thursday, the kingdom’s interior ministry said in a statement.

More than 100 soldiers and civilians have been killed on the Saudi side of the border with Yemen either in rebel rocket fire or armed clashes, since March last year.

Courtesy : Express Tribune



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