International Committee of the Red Cross

Yemen: ICRC urges warring sides on Red Sea coast to protect civilian life

News release 09 December 2017

Geneva / Sana'a – As reports of intense fighting along Yemen's Red Sea Coast continue to emerge, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) urges all parties to the conflict in Yemen to respect the lives of civilians.

"Fighting along the Red Sea Coast is reported to be approaching densely inhabited urban areas. This is happening against the backdrop of a catastrophic humanitarian situation and a Yemeni population brought to its knees after almost three years of conflict," said Robert Mardini, who directs the ICRC's operations in the Near and Middle East.

"We would like to urge all parties to the conflict to respect civilian life by taking every possible measure to protect civilians, and to allow safe passage for those who want to escape the fighting in search of safety. It is also important to remind that all persons captured in relation to the on-going hostilities must be treated humanely."

The ICRC is also concerned about the region's essential infrastructure, including its water and electricity networks, which is vital to the civilian population's survival. In view of the country's ongoing cholera epidemic, it is especially important that this infrastructure not be damaged.

The ICRC's team on the ground, operating from Hodeidah city, is providing humanitarian assistance including medical supplies for the treatment of injured men, women and children, as well as material for the management of dead bodies. Yemeni Red Crescent continues to bring vital care to the wounded and people in need of urgent medical help through its ambulance service.

The ICRC is also monitoring the humanitarian impact of military operations and is in contact with all sides on their responsibilities under international humanitarian law. All persons captured in relation to the on-going hostilities must be treated humanely at all times.


For further information, please contact:

Soumaya Beltifa, ICRC Sana'a, +253 77 27 18 96
Adnan Hizam, ICRC Sana'a, +967 73 372 1659
Sanela Bajrambasic, ICRC Geneva, +41 79 217 32 17