Humanitarian situation in Yemen "catastrophic" - Minister

Yemen – Statements by M. Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, following his meeting with Mr Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for Yemen

Paris, 14 March 2017

Ladies and gentlemen,

I’ve just had a meeting with Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for Yemen. We’ve already had the opportunity to meet on several occasions and also to have telephone conversations [enabling me] to say very clearly that France is especially mindful of what’s happening in Yemen.

It’s a conflict that is talked about less than others, but it mustn’t be forgotten, because the humanitarian consequences on the ground are catastrophic. There are even famine situations – we must be aware of that. There’s a humanitarian emergency, and obviously the war mentality, the military mentality, can’t resolve the problem.

In this increasingly violent military conflict between the [warring] parties, we can see there are unacceptable civilian targets: clinics, schools, markets and public places, where there are a lot of civilian casualties. The situation must clearly be stopped as quickly as possible.

That’s the appeal we’re making to the parties, and that’s why it’s important that the political solution – promoted by the United Nations and very concretely and bravely championed by Cheikh Ahmed – should be upheld with great determination.

Even though his mission is difficult, we trust in him completely to bring about a rapprochement, secure a ceasefire and begin political negotiations.

The urgent thing is also – and this is an appeal we’re making to the warring parties – to enable the humanitarian organizations to get through. At the moment they can’t, and that’s what makes the situation even more tragic.

I’d like to finish by saying that France is ready to help contribute – along with other countries, in the United Nations framework obviously – to a peaceful solution in Yemen./.

Published on 20/03/2017

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