Yemen: UN envoy sets out on ‘intensive consultation’ aimed at getting political process back on track

In early April 2015, an air strike hit a military site on Faj Attan Mountain, high above Sana’a, the capital of Yemen, causing fire and a large plume of smoke. Photo: UNICEF/ Mohammed Hamoud

6 May 2015 – The United Nations Special Envoy on Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, is conducting intensive consultations aimed at getting the political process back on track for the country, where conflict erupted in late March.

Starting the process with a visit to Paris, Mr. Ould Cheikh Ahmed met officials from the Office of the French President and the Foreign Ministry, as well as the Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperative Council.

Tomorrow, the Special Envoy will travel to Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh, for meetings with President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, Vice President Khaled Bahah and other Yemeni officials, as well as with Saudi officials. The plan is to travel from Riyadh to other regional capitals for further consultations.

Mr. Ould Cheikh Ahmed was in New York until yesterday, where he met with permanent representatives from key countries in the region and members of the Security Council.

Meanwhile, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that widespread violence has intensified in Aden Governorate, with reports of heavy shelling and clashes taking place in seven districts, especially heavy in Khormaskar district, and of airstrikes in Sa’ada today.

Today, for the first time, clashes were reported in Attawahi District, where parties to the conflict were reportedly shooting at residents attempting to leave and shelling the boat in which they were trying to escape. Several hundred families have managed to flee to other parts of Aden Governorate by boat.

Residents also report a lack of food, water, fuel and breakdown of basic services in both Aden and Sa’ada Governorates, with several districts in Aden Governorate completely cut off.

Figures from 26 March up to 3 May from the field show that at least 646 civilians have been killed, including 50 women and 131 children, and more than 1,364 civilians have been injured, according to the UN human rights office (OHCHR).


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