UN demands more humanitarian access to Yemen

Al Jazeera 

The United Nations on Friday demanded that all parties in war-torn Yemen grant civilian and commercial access to the country's ports and airports. "Today, millions of people in Yemen are facing a triple tragedy: the spectre of famine, the world's largest ever single-year cholera outbreak, and the daily deprivation and injustice of a brutal conflict that the world is allowing to drag on and on," said Stephen O'Brien, the under-secretary general for humanitarian affairs. "I renew my call ... to address the following points: ensure that all ports - land, sea and air - are open to civilian - including commercial - traffic," O'Brien said, adding that the airport in the capital Sanaa should be opened "immediately" to humanitarian aid. READ MORE: Satirical shows lighten the mood amid Yemen's war The airport is held by the rebel Houthi fighters who also control the rest of the capital, but airspace over Yemen is dominated by the rival Saudi-led Arab coalition, which is helping the Yemeni government fight the Iran-linked Shia rebels. O'Brien also called on all the parties in the conflict "to respect international humanitarian and human rights law" by protecting civilians and infrastructure.