UN chief urges end to conflict in Yemen

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for an immediate cessation of the conflict in Yemen, and the resumption of UN-led peace talks in the country.

On Wednesday, the UN chief said he “took note” of Riyadh’s declaration of an end to the airstrikes against members of the popular committees, including Houthi Ansarullah fighters, and welcomed the announcement.

He said the UN supports a quick resumption of the political process in Yemen and the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Ban said he is waiting for “positive responses” from major parties to his pick for a new UN special envoy on Yemen to succeed Jamal Benomar, who stepped down earlier this month after four years of efforts at a peaceful political transition in the impoverished Arab country.

Militants loyal to Yemen’s fugitive former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi prepare to launch attacks toward Houthi Ansarullah fighters in the area of Khor Maskar near the airport in the southern Yemeni city of Aden, April 20, 2014. (© AFP)

 

The UN secretary general is considering Mauritanian diplomat Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed as a replacement for Benomar.

Ban said the new UN special envoy on Yemen would provide the “diplomatic facilities” to resolve the conflict through talks.

Saudi government spokesman Brigadier General Ahmed al-Assiri, in a broadcast late on Tuesday, announced the termination of the first phase of the Saudi war on Yemen, which was codenamed as the so-called Decisive Storm against Yemen.

However, he added that the Saudi naval blockade on Yemen would stay in place and the Saudi forces would continue targeting the Houthi Ansarullah movement’s fighters in Yemen.

Yemenis look down through a hole in the roof of a house, which was damaged the day before during a Saudi airstrike, near a military base in the capital, Sana’a, April 21, 2015. (© AFP)

 

Saudi Arabia started its military aggression against Yemen on March 26 – without a UN mandate – in a bid to restore power to fugitive former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who is a close ally of Riyadh.

According to reports, nearly 1,000 people have been killed during the aggression.

By Press TV