NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.N. Security Council on Thursday condemned an escalation in fighting in Yemen’s Marib, calling for the Houthis to end an offensive on the government’s last northern stronghold, and pushing for the government to allow fuel into Hodeidah port.
In a statement, the 15-member council also condemned cross-border attacks against Saudi Arabia and said the escalation in Marib “threatens efforts to secure a political settlement when the international community is increasingly united to end the conflict.”
A Saudi Arabia-led military coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015 after the Iran-aligned Houthi group ousted the country’s government from the capital Sanaa. The Houthis say they are fighting a corrupt system.
Since taking office in January, U.S. President Joe Biden has made Yemen a priority and appointed special envoy Tim Lenderking to help revive stalled U.N. efforts to end the conflict. Lenderking said on Friday that a ceasefire plan was before the Houthi leadership and urged them to respond.
The U.N. Security Council, which was briefed on Yemen on Tuesday, “stressed the need for de-escalation by all, including an immediate end to the Houthi escalation in Marib.”
U.N. Yemen mediator Martin Griffiths warned on Tuesday that the war in Yemen was “back in full force.” Both Griffiths and U.N. aid chief Mark Lowcock also said that commercial fuel imports into Hodeidah port had been blocked since January and urged the government to allow deliveries.
The Security Council on Thursday “expressed concern over the dire economic and humanitarian situation, and emphasized the importance of facilitating humanitarian assistance as well as the movement of fuel ships into Hodeidah port.”
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Daniel Wallis)