Handicap International and five other aid agencies have condemned a Saudi-led coalition airstrike on a hospital supported by Doctors without Borders (MSF) in Abs, in Hajja governorate in Yemen. Oxfam, Care, Handicap International, Mercy Corps, Intersos and Save the Children called for an independent investigation into Monday's attack, the fourth on an MSF-supported facility in Yemen in less than a year that comes just two days after an airstrike on a school killed ten children and injured 28 others in the Saada Governorate.
Sajjad Mohammad Sajid, Oxfam Yemen Country Director, said: “This was a horrific attack killing sick and injured people and the medical staff desperately trying to help them. The world cannot continue to turn a blind eye as the most vulnerable suffer in this terrible conflict. We urge all parties to the conflict to reach a political solution to stop the violence and put an end to the bloodshed."
Edward Santiago, Save the Children’s Yemen Country Director, said: “The Saudi Arabia-led Coalition claims to have taken measures to prevent and end grave violations against children but they are clearly not working if children continue to be killed and injured and schools and hospitals attacked.”
“These airstrikes on a school, then a hospital, have devastating consequences for civilians,” says Anne Héry, head of advocacy and institutional relations. “This is totally unacceptable. Handicap International is demanding an investigation into these attacks and is once again calling on all parties to the conflict in Yemen to immediately refrain from launching airstrikes against civilians.”
As violence resumed last week following the failure of the recent peace talks in Kuwait, civilians continue to be deliberately put at the center of the conflict. The escalation of attacks and the closure of Yemen’s main airport are putting millions of people at risk.
Air strikes were identified as responsible for 60% of the 785 children killed and 1,168 wounded in Yemen last year. In recent weeks civilian casualties have continued to mount with the UN recording 272 deaths and 543 injuries in the four months from April to August this year.
More than 2.8 million people have fled their homes because of the daily bombardments and shelling since the beginning of the conflict.
The UN and human rights organizations report widespread allegations of breaches of the laws of war in Yemen by all parties to the conflict.