UN says Shiite rebels in Yemen have agreed to stop fighting; envoy heads to region

The U.N. says the Shiite rebels in conflict-torn Yemen known as the Houthis have agreed to stop fighting.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Wednesday the Houthis accepted a U.N. Security Council resolution that calls for an end to violence, withdrawal of their forces from all areas they have seized and a halt to undermining the political transition in the country.

Dujarric saya the U.N. special envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, has welcomed the Houthis' latest statements and believes the government of Yemen, the Houthis and their allies should accept a U.N. invitation to join peace talks.

Ahmed's task includes seeing whether Yemen's government agrees to talks.

More than 4,000 people have been killed, and the humanitarian crisis has left the impoverished country on the brink of famine.