United Nations chief urges Yemeni sides for political settlement

Saudi soldiers stand guard before aid supplies are unloaded from a Saudi air force cargo plane at an airfield in Yemen's central Province of Ma’arib

There were conflicting reports on the number of rebels versus civilians killed in the strike which was believed to have been carried out by the Saudi-led coalition.

Hodeidah is home to the impoverished country's biggest port from where most of the humanitarian aid reaches millions of civilians on the brink of starvation.

The UN has labelled Yemen "the world s worst humanitarian crisis" and said that three-quarters of its population - around 22 million people - need some form of aid.

Aden-An air strike by the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen killed 12 civilians, including seven children, in the costal city of Hodeidah on Monday, medics and a witness said.

During the event, Sweden and Switzerland organized a panel discussion on humanitarian access in Yemen based on the Presidential Statement of the UN Security Council adopted on March 15.

The ballistic missile attack came hours after Human Rights Watch accused the Houthis of violating laws of war by indiscriminately firing rockets on populated areas inside Saudi Arabia.

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"Independent of the fact that there is a war, there are humanitarian obligations that are assumed by countries", he said.

Griffiths has already held talks with both sides in the war, which has drawn in regional powers, meeting Houthi authorities who hold the capital Sanaa as well as internationally-recognised Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and Saudi officials in Riyadh. "But with worldwide support, we can and must prevent this country from becoming a long-term tragedy", he said.

"There was never a humanitarian solution for any humanitarian crisis", he said. "I urge all parties to engage with my new Special Envoy, Martin Griffiths, without delay", Guterres said.

The UN chief also appealed for ports to be kept open for food and aid to reach those who need it, adding that Sana'a airport is a "lifeline that must be kept open".

The war has killed more than 10,000 people, displaced more than 2 million and driven the country to the verge of starvation.

Saudi Arabia and its allies shut down the country's land, sea and air borders a year ago in response to a missile attack by the Huthis that was intercepted near Riyadh.

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