UN to convene Yemen talks in Geneva next month

06 August, 2018, 05:28 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Air strikes on hospital and market in Yemen's Hodeidah kill dozens

Concerned by the rise of the Houthi rebels, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states launched a military offensive in 2015 in the form of a massive air campaign aimed at reinstalling the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

"This is a tragic reminder that in Yemen the global humanitarian law - in place to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure in times of war - continues to be broken on a daily basis". A few months ago, locals said, an airstrike hit a nearby gas station, as part of an alleged campaign to limit the fuel supply to the capital.

"Contrary to initial media reports and Houthi claims that attributed responsibility to Coalition airstrikes, the available evidence clearly demonstrates that the damage resulted from mortar shells fired from an area close to the impact sites", he said.

The Houthis say the attacks targeted city's Public al-Thawra Hospital as well as a busy fishing port; at least 124 Yemenis were also wounded in the attack.

Medics and witnesses in Al Hudaydah said Thursday that at least 30 people had been killed, and that missiles fired by warplanes from the Saudi-led coalition had caused the deaths and destruction.

"Hospitals are protected under global humanitarian law".

Last month they said they were pausing the assault to give United Nations mediation efforts a chance.

Strikes have picked up around the city since the Saudis last week accused the Iran-aligned Huthis of attacking two oil tankers operated by one of the kingdom s companies in the waters of the Red Sea.

The satellite images released by the coalition show impact craters of about 50 centimetres, whereas the minimum impact area from an air strike is three metres.

Griffith also expressed concern that Hodeida ― a key entry point for humanitarian aid ― "could be a flashpoint" that may derail the push for talks in September.

On Friday, the UN's World Health Organisation said Yemen may be on the brink of a new cholera epidemic, with greater chance of a high death rate due to widespread malnutrition.

A member of the political wing of Yemen's Huthi rebels said Saturday the insurgents were willing to attend United Nations -brokered talks, although they had low expectations of a positive outcome.

It is time to "begin the hard and uncertain journey away from war" and that there is now a chance "to weigh the opportunities for peace", Martin Griffiths, United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen told the Security Council on Thursday.


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