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Updated On: Sunday, 27 May 2018

Warnings on Situation in Yemen

Content by: South-South News

19 April 2018, New York, USA | South-South News — Martin Griffiths, the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, told the Security Council on April 17 that a political solution to end the war “is indeed available,” but warned about deteriorating conditions.

Griffiths said the outlines of a solution “are no secret,” namely “the end of fighting, the withdrawal of forces and handover of heavy weapons in key locations together, together, with an agreement on the establishment of an inclusive government, one which brings the parties together in a consensus to build peace.” He stressed that “this can be done” but acknowledged that “the war has, if anything, become louder and more pressing these last few weeks.”

Griffiths expressed concern “about the number of ballistic missiles launched towards Saudi Arabia.”

He emphasized that a negotiated political settlement through inclusive intra-Yemeni dialogue is the only way to end the Yemeni conflict and address the ongoing humanitarian crisis.

The UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock, also briefed the Council, saying that humanitarian agencies have scaled up their work in Yemen.

He said, “All parties to the conflict must take practical steps to protect civilians and facilitate humanitarian access in line with their obligations under international humanitarian law. The record on the issue remains mixed. There have been improvements. UN humanitarian flights and vessels are moving regularly. That is positive. But we remain very concerned about commercial imports through all of Yemen’s ports, most particularly Hudayadh and Saleef."

Lowcock warned that “unless steps are taken now in high risk districts, we risk another major cholera outbreak.”

He said, “Last year’s outbreak of cholera and watery diarrhoea struck more than a million people. The effects continue to linger. As we enter the rainy season, the conditions that created this outbreak are still present. Applying the lessons from last year, we are doing everything we can to respond. Agencies are pre-positioning supplies, chlorinating water sources and launching a vaccination campaign.”

For his part, Yemen’s ambassador Khaled Hussein Mohamed Alyemany told the Council that “in order to achieve piece in Yemen, the Houthi militias must first of all withdraw from the cities and the institutions that they have occupied and looted.”

He said, “They must surrender the weapons that they have stolen from state institutions, and most importantly, the ballistic missiles that were provided by Iran. They must cease all attacks against the territories of Saudi Arabia. They must stop exercising state authorities and stop committing one of the most heinous crimes under international law, namely the recruitment of children. This is the only way towards sustainable peace.”

Yemen remains the world's worst humanitarian crisis. He said that three quarters of the population, more than 22 million people, urgently require some form of humanitarian help, including 8.4 million people who struggle to find their next meal.

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