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UNSC ‘deeply concerned’ over Yemen ceasefire violations

A vote on an anti-terrorism resolution is held at the UN Security Council, December 17, 2015 at UN headquarters in New York. (AP photo)

The UN Security Council has voiced alarm over violations of a ceasefire agreement in Yemen and urged all parties to adhere to the accord and exercise maximum restraint.

In a statement on Wednesday, the 15-nation council noted its "deep concern at the number of violations of the cessation of hostilities committed during the talks."

Saudi Arabia and Yemen’s Ansarullah movement agreed to a ceasefire in Switzerland earlier this month, but fighting has continued amid incessant airstrikes and missile attacks.  

Yemen's Houthis accuse Saudi-backed forces of taking advantage of the truce to overrun two towns, including the capital of the Jawf province.   

The Yemeni army and Houthi fighters have responded to the offensives and Saudi airstrikes with a barrage of missile attacks. 

On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia threatened severe attacks against Yemen after a ballistic missile was fired at the kingdom.

Smoke rises after a Saudi airstrike hits an army base in Sana'a December 5, 2015. (AP photo)

Saudi warplanes bombarded areas in northern Yemen on Wednesday and reportedly opened southern borders to more militants to enter the Yemeni territory.

Saudi Arabia started its military aggression against Yemen in late March in a bid to undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement and bring back former fugitive President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi to power.

‘Dire humanitarian situation’

The UN statement also pointed to "the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen, which continues to worsen."

The statement “stressed the urgent need for commercially-shipped food, medicine, fuel and other vital supplies to continue to enter Yemen through all of Yemen’s ports without delays.”

A displaced boy who fled Sa'ada Province with his family waits for relief supplies during food distribution in the Yemeni capital, December 17, 2015. (AP photo)

More than 80 percent of the Yemeni population of 21 million people require some form of humanitarian assistance, the statement noted.

The impact of the conflict, it said, has been devastating, particularly for children and the 2.5 million internally displaced persons.

The statement came a day after the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) criticized Saudi Arabia over its continued military campaign in Yemen.

The UNHCR said more than 600 children had been killed and some 900 injured. The Saudi-led coalition is responsible for a "disproportionate amount" of assaults on civilian areas in Yemen, it added.


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