“The crisis has only multiplied in recent days,” the UN chief warned on Thursday.
The remark by Ban came on the same day as Saudi warplanes reportedly bombed the headquarters of Yemen’s Defense Ministry in the capital city of Sana’a. Separate raids by Saudi fighter jets also struck a food supply building belonging to the Yemeni army in the west of the capital, according to reports.
Ban further said, “Ordinary Yemeni families are struggling for the very basics – water, food, fuel and medicine. Hundreds of civilians have been killed. Hospitals and schools are shutting down – some of which are direct targets of the fighting.”
The UN chief said that holding “political negotiations” is the only solution to the crisis in Yemen.
“I expect [UN] member states to do everything possible to make this happen and get the parties back to the peace table without conditions and without delay,” Ban said.
Saudi Arabia’s air campaign against Yemen started on March 26 without a UN mandate and in a bid to restore power to the country’s fugitive former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh.
According to figures released by Yemeni media outlets on Thursday, nearly 450 people have so far been killed since the beginning of the Saudi aggression. Most victims are reported to be women and children.
Hadi stepped down in January and refused to reconsider the decision despite calls by the Houthi Ansarullah movement back then. The Ansarullah movement later said Hadi had lost his legitimacy as president of Yemen after he escaped Sana’a to Aden in February.
On March 25, the embattled president fled the southern city of Aden, where he had sought to set up a rival power base, to the Saudi capital, Riyadh, after Ansarullah revolutionaries advanced on Aden.
The Ansarullah fighters took control of the Yemeni capital in September 2014. The revolutionaries said Hadi’s government was incapable of properly running the affairs of the country and containing the growing wave of corruption and terror.