UNITED NATIONS, April 10 (Xinhua) -- The Security Council on Friday called on Houthi rebels in Yemen to commit to a cease-fire.
In a press statement, the council members endorsed UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' March 25 call for a cease-fire in Yemen amid the COVID-19 pandemic. They also welcomed the announcement of a unilateral cease-fire in Yemen by the Saudi-led military coalition, which has been fighting the Houthis to restore the internationally recognized government.
The council members welcomed the Yemeni government's positive response to Guterres' cease-fire call, and called on the Houthis to make similar commitments without delay.
The council members encouraged the parties to continue their cooperation with Guterres' special envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths, in order to reach a Yemeni-led and Yemeni-owned, comprehensive and inclusive political settlement to address the legitimate concerns of all Yemenis.
Noting the humanitarian crisis in Yemen makes it exceptionally vulnerable to the outbreak of COVID-19, the members of the Security Council stressed that further military escalation in Yemen would hinder the access of humanitarian and health care workers, as well as the availability of health care facilities necessary to tackle the outbreak.
Yemen's civil war has lasted for five whole years, pitting Houthi rebels against government forces. Saudi Arabia has been leading a coalition force defending the internationally recognized Yemeni government against the Houthi rebels.