During a visit to the Yemeni oil-rich province of Marib, UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths called on Saturday for an immediate military de-escalation, warning of a potential spread of fighting in the province.
“Yemen is at a critical juncture: it will either silence the guns and resume the political process, or we will slip back into large-scale conflict and suffering,” Griffiths told reporters after a visit to Marib on Saturday.
“Marib has been a haven for hundreds of thousands of displaced Yemenis,” he said after meeting with officials, civil-society activists and tribal leaders. “Just last week, thousands of families arrived here fleeing fighting in Al-Jawf. The parties need to ensure that Marib will remain a haven not the next epicenter of the war.”
Last month, the Iran-backed Houthi rebels launched a full-scale offensive on Al Jawf province that led Houthis to taking control of Al-Hazm city, the capital of the province.
According to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), around 70,000 people to neighboring Marib province while rights reports accused the Houthi militia of committing crimes and violations against residents in Al Jawf, including arbitrary arrests, home raids, and looting.