Over coronavirus concerns, Griffiths Calls to speed up releasing Yemeni prisoners‏

UN especial envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths has called for measures that would speed up the release of prisoners over coronavirus concerns.

The envoy wrote on his Twitter account that Yemeni parties should take the necessary measures to accelerate the release of prisoners and allow them to go home safely.

Griffiths also renewed his call on Yemeni parties to stop military escalation in the two governorates of al-Jawf and Marib.

Griffiths's office said, in a statement, the UN envoy was following with alarm the continuous military campaign in al-Jawf and Marib and the tragic toll it is taking on the lives of civilians and the prospects of peace.

"At a time when the world is struggling to fight a pandemic, the focus of the parties must shift away from fighting one another to ensuring that the population will not face even graver risks," he said.

Griffiths reiterated his call to the parties to work with his office to achieve this common goal and act urgently to reverse this precarious course.

"The decision to continue the war is the decision of the parties. Peace is only possible if and when the parties make the responsible decision to put Yemenis first and lay down arms," he added.

Early in March, Griffiths made a one-day visit to Marib, and repeated his call for an immediate freeze on military activities, and for warring parties to work towards de-escalation in fighting.

He also said there is no alternative to the political solution that is reached through negotiations.