ADEN, Yemen, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- Yemen's internationally-recognized government appointed a new negotiating team to lead peace talks with Houthi militia over ending their years-long military conflict, a government official told Xinhua on Thursday.
"The government appointed an 11-member committee led by Foreign Minister Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak to organize plans for peace talks with the Houthis during the upcoming period," the local government source said on condition of anonymity.
The newly-formed committee was chosen by the country's Presidential Leadership Council (PLC) to equally represent the people in Yemen's southern and northern provinces, the official said.
He clarified that politicians from the pro-independence Southern Transitional Council (STC) were included in the negotiating committee for the first time.
Forming the negotiating team comes as a series of international efforts led by the United Nations failed previously to renew a six-month humanitarian truce between Yemen's warring factions earlier this month.
On Tuesday, Yemen's Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a brief press statement saying that the Houthis continued to reject new proposals suggesting extending the UN-brokered truce for a further six months and broadening it to include new aspects of consensus.
Earlier this month, the UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg announced that no agreement had been reached to renew the expired truce between Yemen's warring parties and called for continued efforts to facilitate the truce.
The truce first went into force on April 2, and then was renewed twice through Oct. 2.
Yemen has been mired in a civil war since late 2014 when the Iran-backed Houthi militia stormed several northern cities and forced the Saudi-backed Yemeni government out of the capital Sanaa.
The war has killed tens of thousands of people, displaced four million, and pushed the country to the brink of starvation. ■