The UN Security Council on Friday endorsed the secretary-general’s call for warring parties in Yemen to immediately stop fighting and focus on reaching a peace agreement and countering the outbreak of the new coronavirus.
The council statement followed a briefing Thursday by UN special envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths who said the threat of COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus, has galvanized peace efforts.
Griffith said talks with the warring sides “are making very good progress” and that he expects them to adopt proposals for a nationwide ceasefire and peace talks “in the immediate future.”
But Mohammed Abdulsalam, a spokesman for Ansarullah, said Thursday the current UN proposal neglects a key demand — to lift Saudi Arabia’s air and sea blockade, which fuels the country’s humanitarian crisis. He also refused short-term solutions, saying the blockade must be removed before any serious talks.
However, political experts believe the party which must end the war is Yemen because their country is destroyed by the enemies.
This comes as Saudi Arabia and its allies are accused of violating the ceasefire despite Riyadh’s unilateral declaration of truce of two weeks.
Yemen’s armed forces spokesman Yahya Sare’e says Riyadh has carried out scores of air raids since it announced ceasefire. He warned that more painful attacks would be carried out in response to such escalation.
Analysts say the Saudi-led coalition has never been complied with the agreements despite efforts by Ansarullah to save the peace accord.
Many rounds of talks have failed to bring peace to the war-torn country. The Sweden peace talks had been described as the first breakthrough by the UN, yet such diplomatic efforts have failed to bring an end to Saudi aggression against Yemen that has killed and injured thousands of civilians.
The outbreak of the coronavirus in Yemen, which reported its first case earlier this month, threatens deeper and more widespread suffering in the Arab world’s poorest country. Many stress the vital importance of access to humanitarian and economic aid for Yemenis in need, which is especially important in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.