Islamic World

UN envoy meets with Yemen president as war toll hits 10,000

UN envoy meets with Yemen president as war toll hits 10,000
Yemeni medics and rescue workers carry a body on a stretcher amid the destruction at the site of reported airstrikes by Saudi-led coalition air-planes in the capital Sanaa on October 8, 2016. Rebels in control of Yemen's capital accused the Saudi-led coalition fighting them of killing or wounding dozens of people in air strikes on Sanaa. The insurgent-controlled news site sabanews.net said that coalition planes hit a building in the capital where people had gathered to mourn the death of an official, resulting in "dozens of dead or wounded". / AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED HUWAIS

United Nations: A UN envoy held talks with Yemen’s President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi on Monday as the United Nations said the death toll from the war had reached 10,000.

The envoy, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, was in Aden for the meeting that focused on a return to a ceasefire and to political talks to end the nearly two-year war.

The United Nations said the civilian death toll in fighting since a Saudi-led force intervened in March 2015 had reached 10,000, up from the previous figure of 7,000.

The higher toll “underscores the need to resolve the situation in Yemen without any further delay,” said UN spokesman Farhan Haq. “There is a huge humanitarian cost.”

Ould Cheikh Ahmed is hoping to revive peace prospects in Yemen after Hadi rejected his proposed roadmap. He is due to report to the UN Security Council later this month.

The roadmap provides for a new unity government in Yemen and a rebel withdrawal from the capital and other cities.

“A peace agreement, including a well-articulated security plan and the formation of an inclusive government, is the only way to end the war that has fueled the development of terrorism in Yemen and the region,” Ould Cheikh Ahmed said in a statement.

“I asked the president to act swiftly and engage constructively with the UN’s proposal for the sake of the country’s future.”

“The current political stalemate is causing death and destruction every day. The only way to stop this is through the renewal of the cessation of hostilities followed by consultations to develop a comprehensive agreement.”

Under the proposal, Hadi’s powers would be dramatically diminished in favor of a new vice president who would oversee the formation of the interim government that will lead a transition to elections.

The envoy has been holding talks in the Gulf region in recent weeks, including in Riyadh, where he met with Yemen’s central bank governor to ease a cash crisis in rebel-held areas.

One of the poorest countries in the Arab world, Yemen slid deeper into chaos when the Saudi-led coalition intervened in 2015 to push back the rebels who had seized Sanaa and other parts of the country.

The United Nations ranks the conflict in Yemen as one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.

 

AFP