When warring parties in Yemen met in a renovated castle outside the Swedish capital last December for UN-brokered talks, they showed that perhaps there could be a way out of brutal conflict and the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, the UN Special Envoy for the country said this week.
Nowhere is safe in Yemen, the head of the UN Children’s Fund UNICEF said, after an attack in the city of Taiz claimed the lives of 12 civilians, including seven youngsters – the latest victims of the country’s more than four-year war.
The UN team set up to monitor the ceasefire agreement between warring parties in Yemen has formally verified the pullout of armed Ansar Allah, or Houthi forces, from port zones in the country that are crucial to the flow of humanitarian aid, describing cooperation they have received so far as “very good.”
2018 has been “terrifying” for Yemenis, who have suffered from a conflict characterised by indiscriminate military attacks, and the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths spoke with chief of our UN News Arabic service, Reem Abaza, after the Yemen political consultations in Sweden, that led to a ceasefire in the port of Hudaydah.
It has been a “terrifying” year for Yemenis but ultimately one of hope, as December talks in Sweden yielded a ceasefire around a key port city with the promise of further substantive consultations between the warring parties next month, the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, told UN News in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.
Addressing the UN Security Council on Friday, Martin Griffiths, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, said that although conflict continues to rage, he welcomed recent reports of reduced violence in the country.
A deal which would see the United Nations take control of Yemen’s most important port, and prevent full-scale conflict there that could leave millions more in need, must be seen in the context of restarting long-term political talks towards a lasting peace.