UN urges Yemen's warring factions to adhere to ceasefire

UN Security Council urges Yemen's warring factions to adhere to announced ceasefire and re-engage in peace talks

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Saudi army artillery fire shells toward Yemen from a post close to the Saudi-Yemeni border, in southwestern Saudi Arabia in April.

Updated Dec 24, 2015

The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday called on Yemen's warring factions to adhere to last week’s announced ceasefire to end the war between Iranian-backed Houthis and Yemeni government forces in the country.

Peace talks held in Switzerland had ended without an agreementas the week-long ceasefire which was declared, was violated by both sides time and again.

The 15-nation council declared a statement stating its "deep concern at the number of violations of the cessation of hostilities committed during the talks."

The attendants signed the declaration after it was released during the Tuesday's council meeting.

The statement  "emphasized that the cessation of hostilities and compliance with related UN Security Council resolutions should lead to a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire."

The first round of peace talks were delayed on Sunday and the UN's Yemen Envoy, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said the two warring parties would meet again on January 14, but where the talks would be held has not been announced, but it is expected to be either in Switzerland or Ethiopia.

Warring parties in Yemen had agreed on a seven-day ceasefire which was launched on Dec 15 under UN surveillance, but it has been repeatedly violated.

The council also underlined its concern about "the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen, which continues to worsen."

Iranian-backed Houthis have been battling the Saudi-led coalition since late March.

As a result of Houthi aggression, Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi had to temporarily flee to the Saudi capital Riyadh and formally request help from Arab states to “save Yemen” from the Houthi militants.

Saudi Arabia is leading a military coalition which has formally intervened in Yemen on March 25.

Meanwhile, Gulf Arab countries and the US have accused Iran of assisting the Houthi militants financially and militarily.

According to the United Nations, at least 6,000 people have been killed in the ongoing civil war in Yemen, nearly half of them civilians and more than 27,000 have been injured since March.

War in the country has triggered an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in Yemen. Currently, 80 percent of Yemen’s population is in desperate need of humanitarian aid to meet their basic needs and protect their fundamental rights, including security and safety of civilians and provision of essential services.

Twenty million people in the country are in need of aid, 13 million are facing food shortages and 9.4 million are having difficulties accessing drinking water.

TRTWorld and agencies