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UN Security Council warns warring parties to leave Yemen ports

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The UN Security Council has urged warring parties in Yemen to allow humanitarian convoys to safely reach all conflict-affected governorates without hindrance, also asking that all Yemen’s ports remain fully open to commercial and relief supply imports.

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These calls were made in a Presidential Statement issued Thursday by the 15-member body.

Since the uprisings in Yemen broke out in early 2011, the United Nations has been focused on helping Yemenis find a peaceful solution through the good offices of the Secretary-General.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 20.7 million people in Yemen need some kind of humanitarian or protection support, with some 9.8 million in acute need of assistance.

In the Statement, the Council noted “with great concern” the impact that access restrictions on commercial and aid imports have on the humanitarian situation, and called on the parties to “immediately facilitate access for these essential imports into the country and their distribution throughout in order to reach the entire civilian population.”

“In this regard, the Security Council calls for the full and sustained opening of all Yemen’s ports, including Hodeida and Saleef ports, and stresses the importance of keeping these functioning and open to all commercial and humanitarian imports, including food, fuel and medical imports,” the Statement added.

The Council also called for increased access to Sana’s Airport for lifesaving humanitarian supplies and movement of urgent humanitarian cases.

Further, the Council reaffirmed that “denial of humanitarian access can constitute a violation of international humanitarian law,” stressing that the operation of the UN humanitarian air and sea services and related services for staff of relief agencies should proceed unhindered.

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