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UN concerned about increasing sectarian tensions in Yemen

April 10, 2015, 9:50 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS
In a joint statement on Thursday, the special advisers warned about growing interreligious tensions in the crisis-hit country and called to prevent "sectarian reprisals"
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© AP Photo/Hani Mohammed

UNITED NATIONS, April 10. /TASS/. UN special advisers on the prevention of genocide, Adama Dieng and Jennifer Welsh, have expressed alarm about the deterioration of the situation in Yemen.

In a joint statement on Thursday, the special advisers warned about growing interreligious tensions in the crisis-hit country and called to prevent "sectarian reprisals."

"The region is facing a critical moment," they said in a statement. "We call on all parties involved in the crisis, including decision-makers, political parties and groups, military, religious, tribal and community leaders, to take all possible measures to prevent sectarian reprisals amid the ongoing violence, to engage constructively in peace initiatives, and to promote respect for diversity."

The severe humanitarian situation and the lack of food and water could result in a further instability, they said.

The special advisers say the fact that the sectarian tensions have been on the rise is evident from reported calls of Yemen’s religion leaders on April 8 for followers to engage in a holy war, and by the March 20 bomb attacks at two mosques, which killed more than 100 people.

According to the UN, since the start of a Saudi-led military operation in Yemen overnight to March 26, a total of 311 civilians have been killed, including 74 children. The overall death toll since the conflict escalated on March 19 has reached over 600.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon has called for returning to political negotiations, stressing that there is no other solution to the crisis.

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