UNITED NATIONS, Nov 1 (APP): With humanitarian situation in Yemen continuing to deteriorate, the United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen called on all parties to recommit themselves to the promises made earlier and to engage fully and constructively with the UN-mediated peace process.
“After 18 months of horrific fighting, thousands of deaths, injuries and unspeakable human suffering, we all need to ask how long will Yemenis remain hostages to personal and reckless political decisions,” Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed told the Security Council Monday at a briefing on the situation in the country.
“Despite calls for the Yemeni parties to fully commit to the peace process, the parties continued to embark on unilateral actions, which risk undermining the prospects for peace,” he added.
Yemen has been engulfed in violence for several years now, a confrontation between the country’s Houthis (Ansar Allah) and the Government of Yemen in early 2014 led to a Houthi advance on the capital, and an ensuing conflict which has involved support from outside parties. The UN has been heavily involved in efforts to resolve the crisis.
In his briefing, the Special Envoy reported that the military situation continues to worsen a very dire the humanitarian situation and urged for far greater attention from the international community.
Illustrating the severity of the crisis, Cheikh Ahmed said that only 45 per cent of the country’s health facilities remain functional and the medical situation has been further exasperated by the prohibition of commercial flights into Sana’a, meaning many are not able to travel overseas to receive treatment.
He further reported attacks against civilians, including the attack on a gathering of mourners on 8 October that killed more than 140 people and injured 550 as well as the shelling of the Bir Basha district of the city of Taiz which resulted in the death of nine individuals, including three children.
“These incidents are a horrific reminder of the consequences of war that has blighted the country during the last eighteen months of conflict,” the Special Envoy noted.
He highlighted that the worsening economic situation could further complicate the humanitarian crisis, and expressed concern over recent attacks on international vessels travelling off the coast of Yemen.