The chief of the United Nations' humanitarian affairs office has stressed that the Saudi-led blockade of Yemen has to be totally lifted.
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UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock said on Friday that the Saudi-led military coalition waging war on Yemen had to completely lift the blockade of Yemen, where nearly eight million people are “right on the brink of famine.”
“That blockade has been partially wound down but not fully wound down. It needs to be fully wound down if we are to avoid an atrocious humanitarian tragedy involving the loss of millions of lives, the like of which the world has not seen for many decades,” Lowcock said.
“It is absolutely essential that people uphold their international obligations. Wars have rules and they need to be complied with,” he said.
Saudi Arabia and its allies have been ceaselessly pounding Yemen since March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall a former regime allied to Riyadh. The Saudi-led coalition has also maintained an embargo on the already-impoverished country since then.
Riyadh tightened that embargo after a retaliatory missile attack from Yemen early in November. The Saudi regime has claimed that it has partially loosened that embargo in the face of massive international outcry.
On Thursday, European Parliament members overwhelmingly voted for a resolution calling on the European Union (EU) to impose an arms embargo on the Saudi regime over the atrocities against Yemen.
The non-binding resolution, which was adopted in a nearly unanimous 539-13 vote, condemned attacks against Yemeni civilians as “war crimes,” and slammed EU members for authorizing weapons sales to Saudi Arabia in breach of EU laws on arms export control.