The UN Security Council called for an "immediate cessation" of hostilities in Yemen, which it said were threatening a political process aimed at ending the war.

Boys walk amid ruins of houses during the conflict in the northwestern city of Saada, Yemen November 22, 2018. Picture taken on November 22, 2018.
Boys walk amid ruins of houses during the conflict in the northwestern city of Saada, Yemen November 22, 2018. Picture taken on November 22, 2018. (Reuters Archive)

The UN Security Council called Thursday for an immediate end to a “significant” escalation in fighting in Yemen between Houthi rebels and the Saudi-led military coalition supporting the government.

Member nations on the UN’s most powerful body “underlined their disappointment” at the return to violence in a statement, saying it “threatens to undermine progress made during the recent period of de-escalation in Yemen.”

The council expressed hope “that a renewed de-escalation would create space for the Yemeni parties to move towards comprehensive and inclusive UN-led negotiations urgently, on the security and political arrangements necessary to end the conflict and move towards a peaceful transition.”

The council statement followed a briefing Tuesday by the UN special envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths. He urged a halt to the recent “alarming military escalation” in fighting “before it is too late.”

Less than two weeks ago, Griffiths had reported to the council on a major reduction in military operations and other initiatives. He expressed hope then that this would lead to talks between the government and Iranian-backed Houthis on ending the five-year conflict in the Arab world’s poorest nation.

The US-backed Arab coalition battling to restore Yemen’s internationally recognized government stepped up airstrikes in recent days on rebel targets northeast of the capital, Sanaa, while the Houthis shelled government-held areas.

Source: AP