UN chief calls for Yemen ceasefire while seeking new envoy
UN chief Ban Ki-moon called for an urgent halt to the fighting in Yemen, as he began the hunt for a new UN diplomat who can broker a political end to the conflict.
Yemen “is on fire,” the secretary general told a National Press Club dinner in Washington on the sidelines of International Monetary Fund and World Bank spring meetings.
Ban said, “It is time to support corridors for lifesaving support and a passage to real peace.”
“The United Nations-supported diplomatic process is the best way out of a drawn-out war with terrifying implications for regional stability.”
The Moroccan career agent enjoyed Ban’s support, but no longer had the confidence of Saudi Arabia and its allies, amid allegation that he was appeasing the rebel side.
Ban said he was in the procedure of finding a new politician for Yemen “who can be immediately deployed” to seek a political solution.
He said, “The Saudis have guaranteed me that they understand there must be a political process,” and added, “I call on all Yemenis to participate, and in good belief.”
Hadi’s rescue to second city Aden in February to rally opposition to the rebels effectively brought discussions to an end.
Benomar’s attempts to revive talks proved fruitless as the rebels advanced on the president’s last refuge, causing his flight to Saudi Arabia.