Yemen 5-day ceasefire set for late Sunday

Eddie Izzard on helping Yemen's 'forgotten' refugees
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Story highlights

  • A five-day humanitarian ceasefire is to begin at midnight Sunday
  • The ceasefire is to allow for medical aid and humanitarian assistance
  • The Saudi-led coalition vows to respond to any military action by the Houthis

Sanaa, Yemen (CNN)The sounds of bombs and gunfire are set to go silent in Yemen at 11:59 p.m. Sunday as warring sides set down their weapons for a five-day humanitarian ceasefire.

The temporary truce will allow for the delivery of medical aid and humanitarian assistance, according to a statement from deposed Yemeni President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi through Saudi Arabia's state news agency SPA.
At least 3,000 people have been killed since the conflict began in March, according to the United Nations. As many as 1 million people have fled their homes and an estimated 21 million are in need of immediate humanitarian aid.
    The Saudi-led coalition backing Hadi says it will reserve the right "to respond to any military action" by Houthi rivals, according to a statement.
    Houthi leaders cautiously accepted the announcement of the ceasefire. "Yemen army and forces will only abide by the Saudi announced ceasefire if Saudi Arabia does," said Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, the Houthi-assigned acting Yemeni president.
    "We welcome any call for a ceasefire and we will respect it for the sake of the people's humanitarian situation," al-Houthi told CNN. "Unfortunately, previous ceasefires were not taken seriously and were not implemented on the ground."
    Hadi fled the country after Houthi rebels began an offensive in Yemen. The Sunni-dominated Saudis have led a coalition of regional powers in strikes against Houthi rebels and other groups.
    The Houthis, a Shiite minority, are backed by Iran, a staunch rival of Saudi Arabia.