Yemen's President urges rebels to lay down their weapons

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Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. UN Photo/Cia Pak

The president of Yemen has urged Houthi militants to lay down their arms as the civilian death-toll mounts across the war-torn country.

President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi used his speech at the UN General Debate, to praise the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, which has been conducting air strikes on rebels, in support of the government.

International concern has been growing that the airstrikes have failed to distinguish between military and civilian targets.

Matthew Wells reports:

The civil war in Yemen and the rising death-toll of civilians caught between the Houthi rebels, and Saudi coalition war planes, drew criticism from the UN Secretary General on Monday who condemned violence on all sides, but called for an end to the bombing.

In his speech, President Hadi criticized Iran, which he said was backing the Houthi rebel forces, and praised what he called the "courageous" defence of Yemen by the Saudi-led forces.

Forced to move his government away from the capital, Sana'a, by the rebel advance, President Hadi appealed for the Houthis to stop fighting, in line with existing Security Council resolutions. He spoke through an interpreter.

"They must act in line with reason, and implement SC Resolution 2216, in a heart-felt manner. I have come to support peace and accord. I am not talking about a peace which would divide, but rather peace from which stems order and cohesion."

He appealed for more aid for Yemen's beleaguered civilian population, and asked for countries who had promised to contribute, to honour their commitments. He said the stability of Yemen was not just an internal issue, but had ramifications for the stability of the entire region.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 1’22″

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