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Escalating Violence in Yemen ‘Could Not Come at a Worse Time’ in World’s Largest Humanitarian Crisis, Secretary-General Says, Calling for End to Attacks

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary‑General António Guterres:

The Secretary‑General is deeply concerned about the sharp escalation of armed clashes and airstrikes in Sana’a and other parts of Yemen over the past several days.  The fighting has already resulted in dozens of deaths and hundreds of injuries, including civilians.

Fighting is restricting the movement of people and life‑saving services within Sana'a city.  Ambulances and medical teams cannot access the injured and people cannot go outside to buy food and other necessities.  Aid workers are unable to travel and implement critical life‑saving programmes at a time when millions of Yemenis rely on assistance to survive.  The Secretary‑General calls on all parties to the conflict to cease all air and ground assaults.

This latest outbreak of violence could not come at a worse time for the Yemeni people, who are already caught up in the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.  The conflict and blockade that was put in place on 6 November — and is still not fully lifted — have caused significant shortages of critical supplies, especially food and fuel, and have resulted in price hikes, curtailing access to food, safe water and healthcare.  The Secretary‑General calls for the urgent resumption of all commercial imports, without which millions of children, women and men risk mass hunger, disease and death.

The Secretary‑General calls on all parties to the conflict to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law.  It is paramount that civilians are protected, that the wounded are afforded safe access to medical care, and that all sides facilitate life‑saving humanitarian access.

The Secretary‑General reiterates that there is no military solution to the Yemen conflict.  He urges all parties to the conflict to engage meaningfully with the United Nations to revitalize inclusive negotiations on a political settlement.

For information media. Not an official record.