UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday urged the Yemeni government to “engage constructively in peace talks,” and to “do all it can to ensure humanitarian actors have access” to the people in need in the war-torn country.
During his meeting with Yemeni President Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi, Ban noted with concern “the continued absence of a negotiated settlement to the Yemen conflict,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters here.
“He urged the Government of Yemen to engage constructively in peace talks mediated by his special envoy for Yemen.”
Meanwhile, Ban expressed deep concern about the severe humanitarian crisis and dire economic situation in Yemen, the spokesman said. “He urged the government to do all it can to ensure humanitarian actors have access.”
The secretary-general highlighted the terrible and tragic toll the conflict is taking on the civilian population, both in terms of casualties and damaged infrastructure, he said.
“He reminded the Government of its obligation to respect international humanitarian law, including as it relates to protecting civilians from harm and civilian infrastructure from damage.”
Yemen has been locked in a civil war since the Houthis seized power and overturned the Yemeni government in late 2014.
Saudi Arabia and its allies intervened to support the exiled Yemeni government in 2015, but failed to bring it back to power in the rebel-held capital Sanaa. The war and ensuing airstrikes have killed over 6,400 people, mostly civilians.