UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- The UN special envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, welcomed the start of the cessation of hostilities that began at midnight on Oct. 19, and "he urges all parties to work to ensure that the terms are fully respected," UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters here Friday.
"The special envoy notes that the Cessation of Hostilities is fragile but largely holding and underscores the improvement of the general security situation in Sana'a and several areas in Yemen, despite the reported cases of violations in other areas like Taiz and the borders with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," Dujarric said at a daily news briefing here.
"He urges the sides to show restraint, avoid further escalation, and strictly adhere to the 72-hour ceasefire," the spokesman said.
"The special envoy is liaising with the parties to agree on an extension for the duration of the Cessation of Hostilities to create a conducive environment for a long lasting peace in the country," Dujarric said. "He reminds all parties that the terms and conditions for the cessation of hostilities include commitments for the unhindered access for humanitarian supplies and personnel to all parts of Yemen."
Yemen's dominant Shiite Houthi group traded accusations with Saudi Arabia on Friday over breaching a ceasefire mediated by the United Nations, deepening the uncertainty of the peace process in the country.
The UN-brokered 72-hour ceasefire, meant to last for three days, came into effect on Wednesday midnight.
The ceasefire is aimed at facilitating humanitarian aid supplies to the war-stricken cities.
UN officials hoped the truce would be extended to pave the way for resuming stalled peace talks and to end the war.
The conflict in Yemen began after Arab-spring style 2011 mass protests that eventually forced former President Ali Abdullah Saleh out of power.
The Houthis, supported by Saleh, seized the Yemeni capital Sana'a and some other Yemeni cities in September 2014, forcing President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and his government into exile.
The Houthis and their ally forces loyal to Saleh have controlled most of Yemen's northern regions since September 2014, while the Saudi-backed Hadi's government has worked with its tribal allies in the southern provinces they recaptured from Houthi rebels.
The Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen's conflict in March 2015 with an air force campaign to restore Hadi to the power and roll back Houthi gains.
The 19-month civil war has killed more than 10,000 people, mostly civilians in the Middle East country.