UN considers resolution on humanitarian situation in Yemen

The UN Security Council is considering a resolution demanding humanitarian access and an end to indiscriminate attacks in Yemen, Angola's ambassador to the UN said Thursday.

The council expressed "grave concern" over the humanitarian situation in Yemen, where violence has continued in the conflict between Iran-backed Houthi rebels and the Yemeni government supported by a Saudi Arabian-led air campaign.

Ambassador Ismael Gaspar Martins, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the council, said council members discussed a resolution, calling on all sides to abide by international humanitarian law by stopping indiscriminate attacks and allowing access to humanitarian aid.

"With the situation which is prevailing in Yemen ... a resolution might be a necessity, maybe even a speedy one because the situation is evolving towards a very drastic one," he said.

He noted that the council was also concerned about the growing presence of Islamic State extremists in the country.

Council members urged the international community to contribute tos the 1.8-billion-dollar humanitarian funding appeal for the country, where 14.4 million people are threatened by food shortages and 2.5 million people have been internally displaced, according to the UN.

Stephen O'Brien, UN humanitarian affairs chief, called for the protection of millions of Yemeni civilians who face indiscriminate bombings and shellings every day.

In his briefing to the Security Council, O'Brien noted that more than 2,000 children have been killed or injured in Yemen since the conflict began, including 90 who died this year alone.

"Protected places, such as hospitals, schools and homes continue to be hit by all parties," O'Brien said.

"It is unacceptable that health facilities are being hit, and it is critical that the parties make guarantees that these locations will be protected."

Yemen has been in turmoil since September 2014, when Houthi rebels overran the capital, Sana'a, and began to make advances in the country. Last March, Saudi Arabia and allies, mainly Sunni Gulf countries, launched an air campaign against the mostly Shiite rebels.

Last update: Fri, 04/03/2016 - 00:06
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