UN chief calls for end of hostilities in Yemen
UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday called for all sides in the conflict in Yemen to "immediately cease all hostilities," following a devastating series of raids resulting in numerous civilian deaths and injuries.
In a statement Ban urged "all parties to the conflict to immediately cease all hostilities and for the Yemeni parties to return to direct talks facilitated by his special envoy for Yemen."
He reminded all parties "of the utmost necessity to protect civilians and to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law."
Ban condemned a reported airstrike that hit east of Sanaa in Nehm, killing at least nine civilians.
He also denounced attacks, which appeared to come from Yemen, which were said to have killed at least seven civilians when a workshop was hit Tuesday in Najran, Saudi Arabia.
That blow caused Saudi Arabia's worst civilian death toll in the kingdom's south since the Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015.
"Civilians, including children, are paying the heaviest price in the ongoing conflict, as civilian infrastructure, such as schools and hospitals, continue to be hit," he said.
Ban expressed alarm at "the escalation of airstrikes and ground fighting in Yemen and along the Saudi Arabia-Yemen border" since the suspension in early August of UN-brokered peace talks in Kuwait.
This is the Ban's third call this week for an end to the violence, having earlier condemned an airstrike on a school in northern Yemen that killed at least 10 children and injured many more over the past weekend.
The UN chief also condemned a Saudi-led coalition airstrike Monday on a rural hospital supported by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in Hajjah that killed 15 poeple.
Warring parties in Yemen have damaged or destroyed over 70 health centres, including three other MSF-supported facilities, according to the UN.
The United Nations says more than 6,500 people, mostly civilians, have been killed since last March and more than 80 percent of the population needs humanitarian aid.