Yemen's spiral of violence could threaten talks, says envoy

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Boy playing on piece of exploded artillery shell which landed near his home, in the village of Al Mahjar, a suburb of Sana'a, Yemen. Photo: UNICEF/Mohamed Hamoud

A spiral of violence in Yemen could threaten to derail the peace process, the Secretary-General's envoy for Yemen warned the Security Council on Friday.

The special envoy briefed the Council on the eve of the next round of negotiations for the war-torn country.

A nation-wide cessation of hostilities began at midnight on 10 April.

Jocelyne Sambira has more.

The intra-Yemeni peace talks, to be held under the auspices of the UN are set to start next Monday.

Special envoy Ismael Ould Cheikh Ahmed warned about the continuing deterioration of the humanitarian situation.

He hoped the current truce would provide a "conducive" environment for the upcoming negotiations and help reach more people with humanitarian aid.

Mr Ahmed spoke through an interpreter.

"The first days of the cessation of hostilities witnessed a discernible decrease of violence in the country. However, there have also been a worrying number of serious violations particularly in Jawufer, Amron, Marib and Taiz. Fighting in Taiz continues to pose serious casualties and I am concerned that a spiral or escalation could threaten the success of the peace process."

The UN has been working to help end conflict in Yemen since it became wracked by political instability in 2011.

Civil war between government forces and Houthi rebels intensified more than a year ago, and more than 2.4 million have been forced from their homes.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 58″

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