May 4, 5:57 AM EDT

UN envoy says talks resume in Kuwait on ending Yemen war


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UN envoy says talks resume in Kuwait on ending Yemen war

KUWAIT CITY (AP) -- The U.N. envoy trying to negotiate an end to the war in Yemen said peace talks resumed Wednesday in Kuwait.

Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said on Twitter the talks began after all sides in the conflict agreed to form a committee to look into what happened in the governorate of Amran, which reportedly came under attack by Yemen's Shiite rebels.

That attack had halted the talks in Kuwait City earlier.

Yemen's internationally recognized government, backed by a Saudi-led military coalition, is fighting the rebels known as Houthis who seized the capital, Sanaa, in September 2014. The Saudi-led forces entered the conflict in March 2015.

In over a year since the Saudi intervention, U.N. figures say the war has killed nearly 9,000 people - a third of them civilians. Airstrikes account for 60 percent of the civilians killed in the conflict, according the United Nations, which has criticized the Saudi-led coalition's strikes on markets, clinics and hospitals.

The war has devastated Yemen, the Arab world's poorest country, with many unable to access hospitals, schools or electricity. More than 14 million Yemenis lack access to sufficient food, and some 2.4 million people have been displaced.

Late Tuesday, the U.N. welcomed the start of its program to screen sea shipments coming to Yemeni ports not controlled by the government. It said that will speed the arrival of food and other supplies while stopping illegal weapons' shipments.

In a statement, the U.N. said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the program "part of broader efforts to bring relief to suffering Yemeni civilians."

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