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Yemen UN envoy pushes for peace in Hadi meeting

The UN envoy met with the president in the temporary capital [AFP]

Date of publication: 17 January, 2017

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As the UN confirmed the death toll of the Yemen war has surpassed 10,000, the UN envoy met with President Hadi in Aden to push for a peaceful political transition.

The UN envoy to Yemen held talks with country's President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi on Monday, as the United Nations confirmed the death toll from the deadly war had surpassed 10,000.

Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed travelled to the southern port city and temporary capital Aden to meet the embattled Yemeni leader, in an aim to focus on another ceasefire and to work towards political settlement.

Ould Cheikh Ahmed is hoping to revive peace prospects in Yemen after Hadi rejected his earlier proposed roadmap.

He is due to report to the UN Security Council later this month.

The roadmap provides for a new unity government in Yemen and a rebel withdrawal from the capital and other cities.

"A peace agreement, including a well-articulated security plan and the formation of an inclusive government, is the only way to end the war that has fueled the development of terrorism in Yemen and the region," Ould Cheikh Ahmed said in a statement.

"I asked the president to act swiftly and engage constructively with the UN's proposal for the sake of the country's future."

"The current political stalemate is causing death and destruction every day. The only way to stop this is through the renewal of the cessation of hostilities followed by consultations to develop a comprehensive agreement." 

Under the proposal, Hadi's powers would be dramatically diminished in favour of a new vice-president who would oversee the formation of the interim government that will lead a transition to elections. 

The envoy has been holding talks in the Gulf region in recent weeks, including in Riyadh, where he met with Yemen's central bank governor to ease a cash crisis in rebel-held areas.

Yemen slid deeper into chaos when the Saudi-led coalition intervened in 2015 to push back Houthi rebels who had seized the capital Sanaa and ventured into other parts of the country.

Meanwhile on Monday, the United Nations said the civilian death toll had reached 10,000 since March 2015, up from the previous suggested figure of 7,000.

The higher toll "underscores the need to resolve the situation in Yemen without any further delay," said UN spokesman Farhan Haq. "There is a huge humanitarian cost."

The United Nations ranks the conflict in Yemen, which has forced at least 3 million people into displacement, as one of the world's worst humanitarian crises. 

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