Eight international non-governmental organizations working in Yemen strongly condemn the reprehensible attack that took place on Monday July 15, in the north of Yemen, killing 13 civilians – including four children.
Mohamed Abdi, Country Director for the Norwegian Refugee Council in Yemen, said: “These 13 people should not have come under attack and their families should not be mourning them today. An investigation must take place, and warring parties responsible for their deaths must be held accountable if it is confirmed that this strike violated international humanitarian law.”
This morning also saw numerous airstrikes on Sana’a, including in residential areas.
The attack on 13 civilians happened the same day as the publication of the UN’s Children and Armed Conflict report, which saw the Saudi Arabia and UAE-led coalition removed from the report’s blacklist for the first time in three years. This is despite the fact that, according to the report, the coalition killed or injured 222 children in Yemen last year. In total, all parties to the conflict were responsible for 689 such casualties last year.
A unilateral ceasefire was announced by Saudi Arabia in April, but there was little evidence that this translated on the ground, and it has since ended. Violence by all parties to the conflict has continued, even during the ceasefire, including airstrikes and shelling.
Muhsin Siddiquey, Country Director of Oxfam in Yemen, said: “We condemn all violence by all parties to the conflict. What the people of Yemen need now more than ever is a nationwide ceasefire, and a return to negotiations between the warring parties. More than five years since the escalation of this bloody conflict, it is high time that action is taken to ensure that peace can return to Yemen.”
INGO signatories of the statement:
- Danish Refugee Council
- Handicap International/Humanity & Inclusion
- Mercy Corps
- Norwegian Refugee Council
- Save the Children
Notes to Editors
- Figures on child casualties can be found within the UN Secretary General’s report on Children and Armed Conflict. According to this report, the coalition will be subject to one year of monitoring and any failure to further decrease child casualties would result in it being listed again next year.
- This attack is in the context of a growing COVID-19 crisis in Yemen which, alongside mass flooding in several parts of the country, has caused an increase in humanitarian need.
- In light of this attack, upcoming UN Security Council meetings on Yemen and on Children and Armed Conflict are opportune moments to reiterate the calls for a permanent ceasefire, and for stronger calls to stop and denounce civilian deaths in conflict.
For media interviews, please contact:
- Sarah Grainger, Oxfam Senior Press Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org, +44 781 018 1514
- Riona Judge McCormack, NRC Communications and Media Coordination, email@example.com, +353 85 257 1926
As a political declaration on the prevention of civilian harm from the use of explosive weapons is successfully moving forward, civil society, national and international organizations continue working alongside governments to ensure that the declaration will be comprehensive, and will effectively respond to the expectations of those who have suffered from the consequences of the use of explosive weapons.
With the aim of contributing to the Political Declaration process, Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Humanity & Inclusion launched an initiative with civil society and international organizations along with survivors to develop a common understanding on the needs and the rights of victims of explosive weapons.Sign up
More than half of the world's countries are contaminated by explosive remnants of war, including landmines and cluster munitions.
These weapons can lie dormant for many years, claiming victims long after a conflict has ended. They are a significant cause of disability, instilling fear in whole communities, deepening poverty and acting as a lethal barrier to development.
Faced with the devastation caused by antipersonnel landmines and cluster munitions, Humanity & Inclusion realized that medical care alone would not be enough. We therefore made a commitment to work on all levels to help mine victims and their communities lead independent lives.
In five years of war, Yemen has experienced every manner of explosive weapons—aerial bombs and missiles, artillery, mortars, and improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and much more. The explosions destroy bridges, ports, roads, hospitals, water systems, and generate long lasting civilian harm. A June 2020 Humanity & Inclusion report highlights six case studies, showing the extent and impact of such bombings. Download the report, "Death Sentence to Civilians: The Long-Term Impact of Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas in Yemen."
Stop Bombing Civilians
During recent armed conflicts, explosive weapons have been used on a massive scale, killing and injuring thousands of civilians. When explosive weapons are used in populated areas, a shocking 92% of casualties are civilians.
Humanity & Inclusion is working to build a movement to stop the bombing of civilians.
Weapons clearance, risk education, and victim assistance
Over the years, Humanity & Inclusion has evolved into the world's most comprehensive mine action organization, working to prevent accidents through education and clearance, and to support the victims.
Our donors make it possible to train and deploy teams of deminers to identify and clear conventional and improvised weapons from the paths of civilians. We work to educate the local population, especially children, how to spot, avoid, and report the weapons they find. Such lessons are especially vital to impart to people returning home after conflict-induced displacement.
People who survive the blasts and burns of war are in desperate need of rehabilitation. Through physical therapy and psychosocial support, Humanity & Inclusion teams work to restore the physical and mental strength of survivors. When physical recovery has advanced, it's often possible to fit artificial limbs and braces to ensure that the survivor can regain their mobility, and with that independence. To smooth their reintegration into the community, our inclusion specialists work with survivors to ensure their access to education, income-generating activities and decent work, and sport.
Decades of campaigning to protect civilians
Humanity & Inclusion was created in 1982 (under the name Handicap International) in response to the horrific landmine injuries suffered by Cambodian refugees. Soon, we realized that action needed to be taken at an international level to ban these indiscriminate weapons.
Humanity & Inclusion played a key role in founding the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, for which we were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, following the signing of the Mine Ban Treaty in 1997.
We are a founding member of the Cluster Munition Coalition, and we actively support the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which came into effect on August 1, 2010.
Humanity & Inclusion is also a founder and coordinating member of Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor, which monitors these two international treaties and produces annual reports on their implementation. And we are a founding member of the International Network on Explosive Weapons.