Yemen living through "most heart-rending" days in its history

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Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed of Mauritania, Special Envoy for Yemen, following his briefing at the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East (Yemen). UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Yemen has suffered greatly and its people have withstood an "unspeakable tragedy", the UN special envoy to the country told the Security Council on Wednesday.

Latest UN figures indicate that more than 6,000 Yemenis have lost their lives since March 2015, and more than 35,000 have been injured during the on-going civil war.

Jocelyne Sambira reports.

Forces loyal to the nation's President backed by a Saudi-led coalition are battling Houthi rebels for control in several parts of the country.

Negotiations for a lasting ceasefire have stalled since December, because of an upsurge in fighting.

Speaking through an interpreter to members of the Security Council, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed called for a cessation of hostilities which would open the way for renewed talks.

He is speaking through an interpreter.

"Yemen is living through the most heart-rending days in its history. Many parts of Yemen are witnessing airstrikes and extensive ground fighting. There has also been a significant increase in the number of missiles fired indiscriminately into Saudi Arabia. The escalation of military activities along with a worsening of regional tensions has created additional obstacles which threaten to delay a new round of talks."

On Wednesday, a suicide bomber attacked a Yemeni army camp in Aden, reportedly killing at least ten people.

Mr Ahmed warned the absence of government control in many parts of the war-torn nation, has facilitated the expansion of terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and the Islamic State or Dae'sh.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’16″

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