Statement by the Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, Jamie Mcgoldrick, on Continued Violence Affecting Civilians in Yemen
10-year-old Fahd walks past the destruction caused by the conflict. His family lost their home and all of their belongings. (Photo: UNICEF Yemen/2016)
Sana’a, 5 November 2017 – I am horrified at the continued violence perpetrated by all parties to the conflict in Yemen which again, this week, claimed the lives of innocent civilians, including thirteen children.
On 1 November, 31 people, including six children, were killed and 26 others were wounded by an air strike that struck a busy night market in Sahar district in Sa’ada governorate. Field reports indicate that on 3 November another air strike hit a house in Baqim district in Sa’ada governorate, killing a whole family of seven people, including two children and two women.
I am equally horrified by the continued indiscriminate shelling occurring in Taizz city. On 2 November, shelling in a residential area in Al Onsowa neighborhood in Taizz city killed five children and injured two others. All the children killed or injured were between seven and 15 years old.
These latest events are unfortunately part of the tragic pattern of the disregard that the parties to the conflict continue to show for the laws of war and their obligations and responsibilities to protect civilians’ lives. All parties to this brutal conflict must act in the interest of the people of Yemen and in line with international humanitarian law.
I repeat the wide array of calls by the international community to all parties to the conflict to uphold their obligations and responsibilities under international humanitarian law. In particular, I ask them to adhere to the principles of distinction between civilians and combatants and proportionality in the conduct of hostilities and refrain from directing attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure. I also reiterate my calls on States who have influence over the parties to step up their engagement to bring about a political solution to the crisis.
We must all do whatever we can to bring the horrendous suffering of the people of Yemen to an end as soon as possible.