Yemen: Humanitarian agencies condemn continued attacks on civilians
20 February 2017 - Humanitarian agencies working in Yemen strongly condemn the continued attacks on civilians in the country after six women and a girl were reportedly killed and 15 others injured in an attack on a funeral in the district of Arhab, north of Sana’a, on the 17th of February 2017.
Wael Ibrahim, the CARE International Country Director in Yemen said:
We are deeply saddened at the news of this attack and are gravely concerned that parties to the conflict continue to blatantly disregard their responsibilities under International Humanitarian Law (IHL) to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure.
It is devastating that civilian women, children and men continue to bear the brunt of the bloody conflict in Yemen as the bombing of schools, hospitals, factories, public infrastructure and private gatherings continues.
These tragic deaths and disturbing patterns of destruction are a further demonstration that an independent, international mechanism to investigate violations of IHL is desperately needed. To ensure civilians are protected, perpetrators of this and previous violations of the rules of war must be held to account.
The attack comes as the people of Yemen are experiencing one of the world's gravest humanitarian crises. Nearly 19 million people are today in need of humanitarian assistance and over three million people have been displaced from their homes. Some seven million people do not know where their next meal is coming from and less than half of the country’s health facilities are fully functioning.
The deteriorating conflict and humanitarian situation in Yemen is coming at an increasingly high cost to Yemen’s civilian population. The recent escalation in fighting on the west coast of the country has also disrupted access to much needed food, fuel and medical supplies threatening the survival of millions of Yemenis.
It is imperative that all parties to the conflict recall their obligations to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure and ensure humanitarian access to those in need. Without international pressure and accountability for such incidents, the people of Yemen – already in dire humanitarian need – remain vulnerable to further violations.
Laura Gilmour, News editor (Programme and Policy), +442070916063, email@example.com