Yemen ablaze in "catastrophic situation"

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The World Health Organization (WHO) delivering water to residents of Taiz City, Yemen, where water scarcity is a major problem. Photo: WHO Yemen

The Gulf state of Yemen is ablaze and facing a catastrophic situation as the civil war there continues.

That's the assessment of a senior United Nations envoy to the country, who on Friday briefed the UN Security Council.

Daniel Dickinson reports.

The civil war in Yemen shows few signs of abating.

The conflict between the government and rebel forces has raged for over a year, claiming the lives of more than 2,000 civilians.

Briefing the Security Council, the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed portrayed a bleak picture of the Gulf state.

He spoke through an interpreter.

"Yemen is ablaze and the Yemeni population is in a catastrophic situation. The country is bleeding and its cities collapsing. Yemen's citizens are deprived of the most basic rights."

Political talks between the government and Houthi rebels have faltered following the setting of new pre-conditions.

The UN Special Envoy has suggested new discussions and is now working with the warring parties to agree an agenda, date and format for those meetings.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration: 54"

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