More efforts needed for ending civil war in Yemen, says Germany

Berlin: Germany on Wednesday called on the international community for stepping up efforts to end the four-year-long civil war in Yemen, thereby ensuring a long-lasting peace in the war-torn country.

“Yemen will face a humanitarian catastrophe if we do not succeed in ending the war,” Anadolu News Agency quoted German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas as saying while speaking at the international conference on Yemen here.

The meet, organised by the German Foreign Ministry, saw the participation of senior officials from 17 countries. Also, UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths and Resident Coordinator of the UN in Yemen Lise Grande were present at the conference.

On Tuesday, Maas said that the truce reached between the Houthi rebels and the Yemen government during the talks at Stockholm in last December offered a “real window of opportunity” to make further progress in attaining peace in Yemen.

On December 13, the Houthis and the Yemen government reached the ceasefire agreement in vacating the strategic Yemeni port city of Al-Hudaydah. However, despite this, the two parties have not withdrawn its forces from the city amidst a slew of accusations on violating the truce.

The armed conflict in Yemen that has been continuing for four years, has brought more than 22 million people that accounts to over three-quarters of the entire country’s population, in dire need of humanitarian assistance or protection, of whom over eight million are severely food insecure and at risk of starvation, the UN has estimated.

The Saudi-led military intervention against a Houthi rebel insurgency in early 2015 has also wrecked the country’s medical, water and sanitation systems, resulting in the outbreak of cholera and other deadly diseases. Thousands of civilians, especially children, have lost their lives either in airstrikes or fighting hunger.

Yemen’s capital Sanaa is currently held by the Houthis, who killed then-President Ali Abdullah Saleh in December 2017.