Saudis: No need for UN resolution on Yemeni humanitarian situation

A possible UN Security Council resolution on the humanitarian situation in Yemen would be currently unnecessary as even UN aid agencies don't see the need for it, Abdallah al-Mouallimi, Saudi Arabian ambassador to the UN, said Friday.

The ambassador's comments came a day after the Security Council expressed concern over the dire situation in Yemen, where violence continues between Iran-backed Houthi rebels and the Yemeni government supported by a Saudi-led air campaign.

Ismael Gaspar Martins, Angola's ambassador to the United Nations and current president of the Security Council, said Thursday that the 15-country decision-making body was considering a resolution on the humanitarian situation, which was "evolving towards a very drastic one."

However, al-Mouallimi said that while Saudi Arabia would not oppose a text on the humanitarian situation calling for aid access and an end to indiscriminate attacks on civilians in Yemen, Riyadh did not think such a measure was necessary.

"We don't think a resolution is needed at this time," al-Mouallimi said.

He noted that Saudi Arabia has made this assessment based on statements made by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and UN Yemen envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed.

"We asked OCHA whether they feel that there was any need for any further involvement on the part of the Security Council ... to help facilitate the humanitarian situation," the ambassador said.

"The answer from the OCHA senior leadership was that they did not feel that there was a need for any such intervention."

A spokesman for OCHA told dpa in response that the organization "cannot comment on what a diplomat may say he has heard."

The Saudi-led coalition has been accused of carrying out airstrikes targeting civilian infrastructures, such as schools and hospitals, and using cluster munitions, which disperse bomblets over wide areas often causing indiscriminate killings.

Al-Mouallimi denied both accusations.

He said he hoped that peace talks can continue by March 15, noting that the Houthis should be part of any future power-sharing agreement.

Yemen has been in turmoil since September 2014, when Houthi rebels overran the capital, Sana'a, and began to make advances in the country. Last March, Saudi Arabia and allies, mainly Sunni Gulf countries, launched an air campaign against the mostly Shiite rebels.

Last update: Fri, 04/03/2016 - 22:02

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