Yemen UNmediated peace talks continuing amid worrying breaches of the cessation of

“The peace talks are continuing, we are determined to reach an agreement and this commitment will not wane over time,” the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, told reporters at a press conference in Kuwait, the host country for the talks.“We agreed with the two delegations that the De-escalation and Coordination Committee (DCC) would investigate clashes on the ground and would provide us with detailed reports with the aim of protecting the ongoing peace talks from daily developments on the ground,” he added. Highlighting the strong link between the security situation in Yemen and the political process, Mr. Cheikh Ahmed underscored that the occasional tension on the ground should not obstruct the peace talks. “We hope that the positive atmosphere in the talks will also be reflected in the security situation. As I have always said, the only way to resolve the conflict in Yemen is through the conclusion of a political settlement,” he noted.“There were a number of breaches of the cessation of hostilities yesterday and this is worrying. We are carefully following-up on the issue with the parties with the support of the international community,” he said.In order to move the talks forward, the delegates met today in three working groups. These groups began consultations on political and security issues, in addition to issues related to prisoners and detainees. “The parties reiterated their support to the DCC and the Local De-escalation Committees which are playing an important role in halting hostilities in their respective governorates. The UN stressed the importance of strengthening the operational role of the Local De-escalation Committees in the country and especially in Taiz. The success of those Committees in Taiz would serve as model for the country and will help ensure constant and unhindered flow of humanitarian aid,” the envoy explained.UN reports indicate that the cessation of hostilities has increased the ability of humanitarian agencies to conduct their activities and to deliver aid effectively. In the governorate of Taiz for example, drinking water was distributed and a number of health working groups were established to follow-up on medical cases and to provide medical services. In the governorates of Hajjah and Al-Jawf, a number of emergency child protection campaigns were launched. In addition, work has started on training volunteers and specialists to provide psychological support, and around nine million internally displaced persons have been provided with food aid. “There is no doubt the level of humanitarian need far exceeds what has been provided, but it is important to recognize that more help is getting through. We hope that the humanitarian agencies will be able to make further progress in the coming days. We call on all parties to facilitate the operations of these agencies in all governorates,” said Mr. Ould Cheikh Ahmed.Underlining that the participation of Yemeni women is a vital part of advancing the peace talks, the UN official announced that seven women leaders arrived in Kuwait last night. They are expected to meet with a range of interlocutors to urge them to reach a comprehensive political settlement.“The women aim to deliver measured and comprehensive messages to the two delegations and the international community,” he noted. “There is no doubt that their role will remain vital and their arguments central to all of our efforts and in the upcoming reconstruction phase.” read more

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Primary school bans all parents from sports day after teachers complained of

“Some parents were competitive, as you might expect, but none were aggressive or threatening towards staff that I could see.”In her letter, Mrs Duggan wrote: “It is with regret that I find myself writing this letter.”Unfortunately, over the last number of years, the behaviour of adults attending sports days has worsened.”Staff have found themselves in the firing line of angry parents who can be threatening and intimidating. They have also been sworn at. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. “This is bad enough but what is worse is that it takes place in front of children.”As you know the safety, happiness and well-being of our pupils, your children, is paramount and so with that in mind I have made the difficult decision that future sports days will not be open to parents.”It is very sad but I feel strongly that my staff and pupils do not come to school to be exposed to the bad behaviour of a small minority of adults.” A primary school has banned all parents from its sports day after teachers complained of “threatening” behaviour. In a letter sent to parents, the head teacher at Pentrebane School in Cardiff said angry parents could be threatening and intimidating and teachers often found themselves “in the firing line”.The letter, which was seen by BBC Wales, was sent a day after the school’s annual sporting get-together, with head teacher Sheena Duggan saying the behaviour had “worsened” over the last few years.Ms Duggan alleged that some staff had been sworn at in front of children.A father who attended the sports day, and asked not to be named, told the BBC: “I’ve honestly no idea what happened to spark this off.”It was a really nice day, all the children were involved, everyone was cheered on and got a round of applause. read more

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