Middle East

UN announces agreement on 72-hour Yemen cease-fire

  • In this photo taken on Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, girls gather at a camp for internally displaced people near the town of Abs, located on Yemen’s western coastal plain below towering desert mountains. Hundreds of Yemenis fleeing war are now living in tents and mud-brick shelters scattered across a cornfield, where they buried the remains of loved ones they carried with them when they escaped. (AP Photos Hani Mohammed)

    In this photo taken on Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, girls gather at a camp for internally displaced people near the town of Abs, located on Yemen’s western coastal plain below towering desert mountains. Hundreds of Yemenis fleeing war are now living in tents and mud-brick shelters scattered across a cornfield, where they buried the remains of loved ones they carried with them when they escaped. (AP Photos Hani Mohammed)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo taken on Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, a boy stands in front of his family's hut at a camp for internally displaced people near the town of Abs, located on Yemen’s western coastal plain below towering desert mountains. Hundreds of Yemenis fleeing war are now living in tents and mud-brick shelters scattered across a cornfield, where they buried the remains of loved ones they carried with them when they escaped. (AP Photos Hani Mohammed)

    In this photo taken on Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, a boy stands in front of his family's hut at a camp for internally displaced people near the town of Abs, located on Yemen’s western coastal plain below towering desert mountains. Hundreds of Yemenis fleeing war are now living in tents and mud-brick shelters scattered across a cornfield, where they buried the remains of loved ones they carried with them when they escaped. (AP Photos Hani Mohammed)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo taken on Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, an elderly man lies on a bed in front of his hut at a camp for internally displaced people near the town of Abs, located on Yemen’s western coastal plain below towering desert mountains. Hundreds of Yemenis fleeing war are now living in tents and mud-brick shelters scattered across a cornfield, where they buried the remains of loved ones they carried with them when they escaped. (AP Photos Hani Mohammed)

    In this photo taken on Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, an elderly man lies on a bed in front of his hut at a camp for internally displaced people near the town of Abs, located on Yemen’s western coastal plain below towering desert mountains. Hundreds of Yemenis fleeing war are now living in tents and mud-brick shelters scattered across a cornfield, where they buried the remains of loved ones they carried with them when they escaped. (AP Photos Hani Mohammed)  (The Associated Press)

The United Nations' special envoy for Yemen says the warring parties in the Arab nation have agreed to a 72-hour cease-fire which will take effect just before midnight Wednesday.

A U.N. statement released Monday evening said Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed "welcomes the restoration of the Cessation of Hostilities, which will spare the Yemeni people further bloodshed and will allow for the expanded delivery of humanitarian assistance."

Ahmed said he had received assurances from all Yemeni parties to cease hostilities at 11:59 p.m. Yemen time on Oct. 19 "for an initial period of 72 hours, subject to renewal."

The fighting in Yemen pits Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, against a U.S.-backed, Saudi-led coalition supporting the internationally recognized government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.