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Yemen's Government Welcomes UN Ceasefire Calls

Yemen's Government Welcomes UN Ceasefire Calls

Thursday, 26 March, 2020 - 08:30
UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths, UN (Arabic website)
Aden, Riyadh - Ali Rabee, Abdulhadi Habtor

Yemen’s internationally recognized government welcomed calls by the United Nations for a ceasefire, reaching a political settlement and uniting efforts in the fight against the new coronavirus.

The government also urged the international organization to pressure Houthis, whom are always accused of violating truces and non-commitment to treaties.

“We welcome the Secretary-General's call for a ceasefire, but we hope that the UN and its envoy Martin Griffiths can put pressure on Houthi militias to stop the fighting, because it is them who is attacking, whether in Sirwah, Ad Dali' or Taiz,” Yemeni government spokesman Rajeh Badi told Asharq Al-Awsat

"Who launches ballistic missiles at civilians in Marib?" Badi questioned in an oblique hint at Houthis.

“We do not attack, we are defending ourselves only,” he added, noting that “if the UN is serious about a ceasefire, it must put real pressure on the Houthis.”

The UN, in an official statement on Wednesday, called on the warring parties in Yemen to stop the fighting and ramp up efforts to confront the possible spread of coronavirus.

“A political solution is the only way to a comprehensive and sustainable resolution of the conflict in Yemen,” stressed the UN chief in the statement.

“More than five years of conflict have devastated the lives of tens of millions of Yemenis,” the UN chief said, adding that an escalation in fighting in the towns of Al Jawf and Ma’rib now threatens to deepen human suffering.

The Secretary-General called on the parties in Yemen to work with his Special Envoy, Griffiths, to achieve a nation-wide de-escalation. He also urged warring parties to make progress on economic and humanitarian measures aimed at alleviating suffering and building confidence, and to resume an inclusive, Yemeni-led political process.

On 12 March, Mr. Griffiths warned the UN Security Council that a fresh escalation in violence once again threatens the quest for a political resolution.

Pointing to the recent military escalation in Al Jawf, he expressed concern about the impact of the violence on the people of that governorate – where thousands of families have been displaced and require shelter and assistance – and cautioned that critical humanitarian measures must not be politicized.

The spike in violence comes as outbreaks of the COVID-19 pandemic have appeared in more countries around the globe.

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