Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday appealed to all parties involved in the war in Yemen and the international community to immediately halt the four-year-old war between the Yemen`s internationally recognized government, backed by Saudi-led Arab
Coalition and Houthi group (Ansar Allah), backed by Iran.
During celebrates the Holy Mass on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, in St. Peter's Basilica on February 02, 2019 in Vatican City in the presence of thousands, Pope Francis called for an end to the humanitarian crisis in Yemen caused by the war.
He made the appeal at the Vatican before boarding a plane to the United Arab Emirates, which has been Saudi Arabia’s main ally in its war in Yemen- a way to avoid embarrassing his hosts with a public call while in the region.
“The people are exhausted by the long conflict and many children are hungry, but humanitarian aid isn’t accessible,” Francis said in his noontime Sunday blessing. “The cries of these children and their parents rise up” to God.
"I appeal to all sides in this war and the international community to press immediately to respect the agreements reached, ensure food distribution and work for the people," he said, noting that many in Yemen have no access to food aid areas.
Francis is travelling to Abu Dhabi to participate in a conference on interreligious dialogue sponsored the Emirates-based Muslim Council of Elders, an initiative that seeks to counter religious fanaticism by promoting a moderate brand of Islam. It’s the brainchild of Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, the grand imam of Egypt’s Al-Azhar, the revered 1,000-year-old seat of Sunni Islam that trains clerics and scholars from around the world.
Saudi Arabia has been leading a military coalition in Yemen since 26 March 2015, in support of forces loyal to President Hadi to retake areas controlled by Houthi (Ansar Allah) Group seen as proxy for Iran in the Arab Peninsula country.
The conflict has left tens of thousands killed, hundreds of thousands injured, and 3 million displaced and pushed the country to the world's worst humanitarian crisis, according to the UN, with more than two thirds of the 28-million population in need for a type of humanitarian aid and immediate protection, including 8.4 million people unsure how to get next meal, and some 2 million children suffering severe shortage of nutrition.