Sana'a, Yemen

14 May 2015

Statement of the Special Envoy at the conclusion of his visit to Yemen

The United Nations Special Envoy of the Secretary General for Yemen, Mr Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, concluded today his first visit to Yemen since his appointment. He arrived only hours before the start of the five-day humanitarian pause which all parties have committed to respect. While noting a reduction in the overall degree of military activities the Special Envoy expressed deep concern for the sporadic violations that did occur and urged all parties to fully adhere to the agreed cessation of hostilities for the remainder of the five-day period and facilitate the delivery of urgently needed life-saving assistance in compliance with their obligations under International Humanitarian Law.

Yemenis throughout the country have faced tragic levels of suffering and violence over recent months. The humanitarian pause is important to give them time to seek medical assistance and receive much-needed humanitarian assistance which so far has been unable to reach most Yemenis.

In order to allow the United Nations to provide this needed humanitarian assistance, the Special Envoy reiterates earlier calls of the Secretary-General for all parties to ensure that humanitarian agencies and their partners have safe and reliable access throughout the country. The Special Envoy calls on all sides to refrain from any actions which would undermine the safety and security of Yemen’s airports, seaports and transport infrastructure. Furthermore, the Special Envoy encourages the lifting of the current blockade to enable the import of fuel, food and medicines, and to facilitate the return of Yemeni citizens stranded abroad to Yemen

While in Yemen the Special Envoy held talks with leaders of political groupings and also civil society. Prior to his arrival in Sana’a he visited several countries in the region, including Saudi Arabia and UAE. He will now continue his consultations in the region as part of his efforts to ensure that the international community and the region work together to help ensure peace in Yemen and the return to an inclusive Yemeni-led dialogue on the country’s future.