UN calls for truce in Yemen to enter humanitarian aids

Saudi Arabia will discuss pausing air strikes on Sanaa airport with other coalition members

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Sanaa airport was targeted on Tuesday by Saudi-led air strikes disrupting plans for bringing humanitarian aid into Yemen.

The UN called for a safe passage for life-saving assistance due to damages caused over the last week strikes preventing the landing of incoming air traffic.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said: "No flights can take off or land while the runways are being repaired."

In a press statement Johannes van der Klaauw, UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, said: “Without access to the airports, aid agencies are unable to bring in staff, vital supplies of medicines and other critical life-saving assistance, or undertake medical evacuations of their personnel.”

"I strongly urge the coalition to stop targeting Sanaa international airport and to preserve this important lifeline - and all other airports and seaports - so that humanitarians can reach all those affected by the armed conflict in Yemen," he added.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will begin a two-day visit to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday to discuss the "humanitarian pause" in Yemen with Saudi leaders.

Last March Saudi Arabia launched a military operation with other Arab allies against the Iranian-backed Houthi militias, in response to President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi’s request to "save the Yemeni people.”

The Houthis have controlled Yemeni capital of Sanaa and other provinces since last September, causing the country’s government to flee following the Houthi’s attempts to dissolve the parliament.

Local activists report that humanitarian conditions are deteriorating with no electricity or water.

Casualties and the number of displaced people are rising as the United Nations recently estimated that more than 300,000 people are displaced due to the conflict since March 19.

More than 1,244 people were killed and some thousands were wounded as a result of the nation-wide clashes.

TRTWorld and agencies