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Yemen: Access to Dammaj still being denied

02-11-2013 News Release 13/185

Geneva/ Sana’a (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was again prevented from entering Dammaj, in northern Yemen, today. The ICRC has been attempting vigorously to gain access to the town. There are a large number of wounded civilians in Dammaj and the risk to them will only grow if the ICRC is denied access.

ICRC teams in Saada, roughly 8 kilometres away, have been ready since last week to respond to the growing humanitarian needs of people in Dammaj, where clashes between armed groups continue.  

"We deplore the lack of access to Dammaj, where the number of wounded people in need of evacuation is growing," said Cedric Schweizer, head of the ICRC delegation in Sana'a.

"We are particularly concerned about people who need emergency assistance. We appeal for a halt to the violence and for immediate and unconditional access, so that we can evacuate the wounded and deliver much-needed medical assistance. We made this appeal and this request last week, and again yesterday," Mr Schweizer said. "The humanitarian situation was very serious then and it is worse now."

The ICRC, which has had a presence in Yemen since 1962, once again urges all parties to observe an immediate ceasefire and to show respect for human life and the physical integrity and dignity of all. The wounded must get the medical care they need and health-care facilities must be spared and protected.

For further information, please contact:
Marie Claire Feghali, ICRC Sana'a, tel: + 967 73 607 19 67
Adnan Hizam, ICRC Sana'a, tel: + 967 733 721 659
Jean-Yves Clémenzo, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 79 217 32 17