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UN calls for immediate halt to fighting in Yemen

THE United Nations security council has called for an immediate halt to fighting in Yemen as the war-torn nation continues to struggle with the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

The security council said that only a lasting ceasefire and political settlement could end the six-year conflict.

It singled out the Shi’ite Houthi rebels’ military escalation in Marib, the internationally recognised government’s last stronghold in Yemen’s northern half.

The flare-up has put at risk an estimated one million civilians who have fled there since 2015 to escape fighting elsewhere.

UN special envoy Martin Griffiths told the council: “The longer the Marib offensive goes on, the greater the risk to Yemen’s broader stability and social cohesion.

“It may lead to the transfer of conflict to other areas in Yemen, including those which have remained mercifully far from the main theatres of conflict.”

He warned that military conquest will only fuel further cycles of violence and unrest.

Mr Griffiths said that Yemen could only be governed effectively by an “inclusive partnership” of “different political forces and components,” adding: “I am here to say that a deal is still very much possible.”

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