Yemen: Over 100 civilians killed in past month
Around 106 civilians have been killed in Yemen over the past month alone, most by Saudi-led coalition airstrikes and shelling, the UN Human Rights Office said Friday.
The worst incident occurred near the port city of al-Hodeidah on 16 March, when 32 Somali refugees and one Yemeni civilian were killed, with another 10 Somali refugees reportedly missing, feared dead.
Twenty-nine Somali refugees, including six children, were injured, some severely.
According to survivors’ accounts, the boat carrying the refugees across the Red Sea was hit by shelling from a coalition warship, without any warning, followed by shooting from an Apache helicopter overhead.
The UN Human Rights Office has also documented a number of incidents where fishermen’s boats were hit, as well as airstrikes that struck four trucks carrying food items, and an airstrike at a marketplace, among others.
“The violent deaths of refugees fleeing yet another war, of fishermen, of families in marketplaces – this is what the conflict in Yemen looks like two years after it began…utterly terrible, with little apparent regard for civilian lives and infrastructure,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said.
Houthi rebels and forces loyal to former President Saleh have also continued to encircle densely populated areas in Taiz Governorate, preventing civilians from leaving and restricting humanitarian access to Taiz city, the UN said.
“Two years of wanton violence and bloodshed, thousands of deaths and millions of people desperate for their basic rights to food, water, health and security – enough is enough,” High Commissioner Zeid said.
“I urge all parties to the conflict, and those with influence, to work urgently towards a full ceasefire to bring this disastrous conflict to an end, and to facilitate rather than block the delivery of humanitarian assistance.”
In March 2015, Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies launched an air campaign to support Yemen's president against Houthi rebels who had seized control of northern Yemen and the capital Sanaa.
More than 10,000 people have since been killed and a further 40,000 wounded. Seven million Yemenis now face starvation.