Warring parties in Yemen urged to ensure protection of civilians

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Damage caused by fighting in Abyan Governorate, southern Yemen. Photo: OCHA/Eman (file)

All parties in the conflict in Yemen have been reminded of their obligations to protect civilians as well as humanitarian and UN and personnel.

The call has come from UN Secretary-General following the announcement by Saudi Arabia that it has begun military operations in the country.

Yemen has been mired in a political and security crisis that started during the popular uprisings in 2011.

Cathrine Hasselberg reports.

In recent days the crisis has escalated after the armed Houthi rebels took control of the capital.

Fighting has intensified between Houthi fighters and government forces despite negotiations mediated by the UN Special Envoy Jamal Benomar to find a political solution to the crisis.

UN Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq, says the Secretary-General noted that Saudi Arabia's intervention was at the request of the Government of Yemen.

"The Secretary-General recalls the Security Council’s Presidential Statement of 22 March which, while supporting the legitimacy of the President of Yemen, Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi, called upon all parties and Member States to refrain from taking any actions that undermine the unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Yemen. The Security Council also called on all Member States to refrain from external interference which seeks to foment conflict and instability and instead to support the political transition."

The Secretary-General highly appreciated the tireless efforts of his Special Adviser Jamal Benomar, Farhan Haq added.

He said that, despite escalation, negotiations remain the only option for ultimately resolving the Yemeni crisis.

Cathrine Hasselberg United Nations

Duration: 1’14″

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