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UN calls for immediate freeze of military operations in Yemen

March 7, 2020 at 1:36 pm

UN special envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths in Sweden, on 13 December 2018 [Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images]

UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths today has called for an immediate end to military action by Yemen’s warring parties as renewed violence between the Houthi movement and a Saudi-led coalition threatened peace efforts, Reuters reports.

Fierce battles have resumed in Al-Jawf province since last month and culminated with the Houthi group taking control of its capital Al-Hazem last week, as the Saudi-led coalition resumed air strikes against the region’s towns and villages. The fighting in Al-Jawf in northern Yemen has displaced around 70,000 people, or 10,000 families, to neighbouring Marib province, the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Saturday.

“Last week I issued a public call for a freeze on military activities. Today, I am reiterating that call for an immediate and unconditional freeze….Yemen simply cannot wait,” Griffiths told reporters in the central city of Marib.

The recent escalation has shattered more than three months of calm in the five-year-old conflict.

The coalition, which intervened in the war in 2015 to try to restore the ousted Sanaa government, has carried out thousands of air strikes that have killed thousands of civilians at hospitals, schools and markets, drawing international criticism.

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