Houthi offensive in Yemen 'must stop': New UN envoy

AFP , Friday 10 Sep 2021

Grundberg said he would soon travel to Saudi Arabia to meet Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, and the talks are also planned with Saudi, Omani, Emirati, Kuwaiti, Iranian and Egyptian officials

UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg . File Photo AFP
UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg . File Photo AFP

The offensive by Houthi rebels in Yemen's northern Marib province "must stop," the UN Security Council was told Friday by the organisation's new envoy for the country, Hans Grundberg from Sweden.

"Civilians, including the many internally displaced persons who sought refuge in Marib, live in constant fear of violence and renewed displacement," the newly-appointed official said.

"The UN and the international community has been clear in its message: The offensive must stop."

The offensive in the Marib region has been going on since the beginning of 2020 and has "killed thousands of young Yemenis," the envoy said.

"The fighting must stop, the violence has to come to an end," he insisted.

The province of Marib, the last bastion of government power in the war-torn north of the country, is regularly the scene of violent clashes.

"The peace process has been stalled for too long. The conflict parties have not discussed a comprehensive settlement since 2016," Grundberg said.

He said he would soon travel to Saudi Arabia to meet Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, and planned to see the Houthis as well.

Talks are also planned with Saudi, Omani, Emirati, Kuwaiti, Iranian and Egyptian officials, he said.

The conflict in Yemen, triggered in 2014 by a rebel offensive, has killed tens of thousands of people according to NGOs, and brought millions more to the brink of starvation.

Grundberg said he would soon travel to Saudi Arabia to meet Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, and planned to see the Houthis as well.

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