Yemen fighting casualties “deeply disturbing”: UN

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UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) — The recent upsurge in fighting in Yemen — including reports of some 100 people killed and hundreds wounded — are “deeply disturbing,” the United Nations chief spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Monday.

“We renew our call on all warring parties for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Sanaa,” the capital, Dujarric told reporters at UN Headquarters. “We cannot overemphasize there is no military solution to the conflict ongoing in Yemen.”

“The United Nations stands ready to facilitate a negotiated political settlement that is inclusive, fair and sustainable,” he said.

“We find the events unfolding there to be deeply disturbing with ground clashes and airstrikes dramatically escalated in Sanaa and surrounding governorates,” Dujarric said. “Initial reports indicate that around 100 people have been killed and hundreds more may be injured.”

“We also have taken note of the reported killing earlier today of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh as well as several of his associates,” he said.

The Houthi rebels are backed by an Iranian-led coalition and supported Saleh while the internationally recognized President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi is backed by a Saudi-led coalition.

The spokesman said his humanitarian colleagues “are receiving desperate calls for help by trapped families, but are unable to reach those who have been injured and there have been reports of even ambulances coming under attack.”

“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,” Dujarric said.

He also said the Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, has called on parties to the conflict “to urgently enable a humanitarian pause (Tuesday), enable civilians to leave homes and seek assistance and protection and to facilitate the movement of aid workers to ensure the continuance of life-saving programs.”

On Sunday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued a statement in which he said “the latest outbreak of violence could not come at a worse time for the Yemeni people who already are caught up in the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.”

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