UN chief calls for Yemen ceasefire while seeking new envoy

United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon called for an immediate halt to the fighting in Yemen, as he began the hunt for a new UN envoy who can broker a political end to the conflict.


Yemen “is in flames,” the secretary general told a National Press Club dinner in Washington on the sidelines of International Monetary Fund and World Bank spring meetings.


“I am calling for an immediate ceasefire in Yemen by all parties,” he said.


“It is time to support corridors for lifesaving aid and a passage to real peace,” Ban said.


“The United Nations-supported diplomatic process is the best way out of a drawn-out war with terrifying implications for regional stability.”


Ban’s remarks followed the resignation of UN envoy Jamal Benomar, as a Saudi-led coalition pressed its air war against Iran-backed rebels in Yemen.


The Moroccan-born career diplomat enjoyed Ban’s support, but no longer had the confidence of Saudi Arabia and its allies, amid accusations that he was appeasing the rebel side.


Ban said he was in the process of finding a new  envoy for Yemen “who can be immediately deployed” to seek a political solution.


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