Last updated: 2 June, 2015

UN pushes for renewed Yemen humanitarian pause

The UN Security Council on Tuesday backed a call by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for a new humanitarian pause to fighting in Yemen, saying peace talks should be held as soon as possible.

The 15-member council said in a unanimous statement they were “deeply disappointed” that talks scheduled for Geneva last week were pushed back.

A diplomatic source told AFP that an announcement on a new date for the talks, possibly around June 10, was imminent.

Council members “endorsed the UN secretary general’s call for a further humanitarian pause in order to allow assistance to reach the Yemeni people urgently,” said the statement.

A five-day pause last month allowed aid agencies to reach civilians caught in the fighting, but UN efforts to prolong the truce failed.

“The consultations in Geneva need to happen without pre-conditions,” said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

“We would also like to see an immediate cessation of hostilities but we are not in a situation where we need to see a cessation before the talks begin,” he said.

Yemen has been engulfed in turmoil since Shiite Huthi rebels seized the capital Sanaa in September and advanced on the southern city of Aden, forcing President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi to flee into exile in Saudi Arabia.

On March 26, Saudi Arabia led a coalition in launching air strikes on Yemen to push back the Iranian-backed Huthis and restore Hadi’s authority.