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UNSC urges pause in Saudi military strikes against Yemen

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has called for another humanitarian pause in Saudi Arabia’s military attacks against Yemen, saying there are currently 12.5 million food insecure people in the Arab country.

The 15-member council released a statement on Tuesday, describing the situation in Yemen as “grave.” Yemen has been being targeted by Saudi military attacks since March 26.

The UNSC called for “a further humanitarian pause” in order to allow aid “to reach the Yemeni people” who are in urgent need of assistance.

The UN’s World Food Program (WFP) said on Tuesday that there are currently 12.5 million food insecure people in Yemen, some two million more than the time when the crisis began in the country in March.

A five-day humanitarian ceasefire went into effect in Yemen on May 12 and ended on May 17 at 2000 GMT.

The members of the UNSC also expressed disappointment with the postponement of UN-brokered peace talks on Yemen, which had been scheduled for May 28 in the Swiss city of Geneva but were delayed.

The decision to delay the peace talks was made after a request by the government of fugitive former Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi and some other countries.

The statement by the UNSC also called on Yemeni parties to participate in talks “without preconditions and in good faith.”

It also urged the parties “to resume and accelerate” the talks with the aim of brokering a “consensus-based political solution” to the ongoing conflict in Yemen.

In a statement on May 26, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed concern about the postponement of the planned initiative on a peaceful resolution of the crisis in Yemen.

Ban urged the end of the conflict in the Arab country, saying, “The only durable resolution to the crisis in Yemen is an inclusive, negotiated political settlement.”

On May 21, Mohamed Abdel-Salam, a spokesman for Ansarullah, had said that the Houthis would participate in the peace talks if Saudi Arabia stopped its military aggression against the Yemeni people.

Without a UN mandate, Saudi Arabia has been launching military attacks against Yemen since March 26 with the aim of undermining Yemen’s Ansarullah movement, which currently controls Sana’a and major provinces, and restoring power to Hadi, who is a staunch ally of Riyadh.

The conflict in Yemen has claimed the lives of approximately 2,000 people since March 19, according to the UN.

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