UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths affirmed that there are “small signs” of hope for Yemeni civilians caught up in the fighting, following a reduction in violence in southern and northern Yemen.
The “small signs” of hope are “fragile and in need of our diligent care and attention,” he stressed.
He praised, in particular, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s “strenuous efforts” through the Riyadh dialogue between President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government and Southern Transitional Council’s parties that aim at re-operating state institutions in Aden.
Griffiths also welcomed allowing oil tankers to dock in Hodeidah ports.
He was addressing the UN Security Council from Riyadh during a regular session on the latest developments in Yemen.
Airstrikes had “reduced considerably across Yemen”, he said, since the beginning of this month. “This is a very recent and inevitably fragile gain, but it’s a step in the right direction.”
He also noted the “tenuous calm” in the seat of Government in Aden, in the south, where fighting has calmed down between formerly allied Government forces and separatists.
He called on a full agreement to be signed soon so law and order – and services – can be restored to the region.
Griffiths highlighted the initiative from the Houthis “to suspend all drones and ballistic missile attacks on Saudi Arabia, and the reduction of violence that followed the announcement.”
The breakthrough in detainee releases and the renewed access to fuel ships entering the key port city of Hodeidah are significant steps, he noted, adding that they were “positive indications.”
UN Emergency Relief Coordinator and OCHA chief Mark Lowcock, for his part, called on Iranian-backed Houthi militias to lift restrictions imposed on the delivery of aid to millions in need in Sanaa and other provinces.
He told members that September had been “the deadliest month for civilians so far this year” with an average of 13 killed every day.