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United Nations chief urges Yemen peace talks

04 April 2018

The media department of the Houthi-run Yemeni military said naval forces had "targeted a battleship belonging to the coalition in response to the bombardment of displaced people in Hodeidah".

The UN secretary-general urged the warring sides in Yemen for a political settlement. Hodeidah is Yemen's biggest port where most of the humanitarian aid enters for millions of hungry civilians but the government accuses Houthis who control the port of smuggling weapons through it. Mekhlafi said: "We need to find the ideal solution which is a return to the talks table, to put an end the war, to return to a sustainable system supported by the people of Yemen, including the putschist parties and those supported by the global community".

"There was never a humanitarian solution for any humanitarian crisis", he said.

The Saudi leader pledged to make efforts to find a political solution to the Yemeni crisis and provide humanitarian aid to its people.

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Over 10,000 civilians have died since 2011, and more than 22 million people - 80 per cent of the population - need humanitarian assistance.

Speaking in Geneva on the sidelines of a U.N. pledging conference for Yemen, Guterres said his Special Envoy Martin Griffiths will head to the United Arab Emirates, Oman and the Yemeni government-held city of Aden in the drive for peace, Guterres told reporters.

It includes $930 million from Saudi Arabia and the UAE which lead the coalition air strikes. "To deliver this assistance to people in need, relief supplies and aid workers must be able to move freely through all entry points, and throughout the country", the agency said in a statement.

"Some 18 million people are food insecure; one million more than when we convened past year".

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Yemen has remained dogged by conflict since 2014, when the Houthi militia overran much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.

A Saudi oil tanker was targeted by the Iran-aligned Houthi movement on Tuesday afternoon local time off Yemen's port of Hodeidah, sustaining minor damages and completing its course north, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya reported, citing the Arab coalition that is fighting the Houthis in Yemen.

The UN called the incident "one of the deadliest attacks on children since the conflict in Yemen escalated in March 2015".

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United Nations chief urges Yemen peace talks