United Nations chief appeals for end to Yemen war, outlines next steps

04 November, 2018, 20:04 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Civilians have borne the brunt of the conflict which has sparked the world's worst humanitarian crisis and a cholera epidemic

"Despite the appeals, fighting continued on Friday, with the Saudi-led coalition saying it had attacked Sanaa International Airport and an adjoining air base being used by Houthi insurgents".

Yemen's defenseless people have been under massive attacks by the coalition for more than three-and-a-half years but Riyadh has reached none of its objectives in Yemen so far. Since then, a Saudi-led coalition supporting the government has blockaded the rebel-held north and waged a devastating air campaign.

Loud explosions were heard across Yemen's Red Sea coastal city of Hodeidah on Friday evening, as pro-government forces began a wide-scale military offensive against the Houthi rebels. The war has left almost 10,000 people dead and unleashed what the United Nations describes as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Friday that Yemen is teetering "on a precipice", appealing to the worldwide community to put an end to the Saudi war on the impoverished nation.

The coalition had massed thousands of troops near the city on Wednesday, in a move to pressure the Houthis to return to UN-sponsored peace talks.

A previous attempt to take the city in June ran into difficulties and was halted ahead of United Nations -led peace consultations in Geneva which collapsed in September after the Houthis failed to show up.


"First, violence must stop everywhere - with an immediate halt around critical infrastructure and densely populated areas", Guterres said, echoing a similar ceasefire call issued by the United States earlier this week.

On Thursday, Yemen's internationally recognised government said it was ready to re-start peace talks with the Houthis after recent efforts to meet ended in failure.

Three-quarters of Yemen's 29 million people are food insecure, 1.8 children suffer from malnutrition and 400,000 children under age 5 are in the worst stage of malnutrition - without intervention they might die.

Yemen has been at war since March 2015 when Houthi rebels occupied northern regions and forced the government into exile.

Later on Wednesday, Yemeni security and medical officials said an airstrike by a Saudi-led coalition killed five civilians and wounded eight more just south of Hodeida.

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