Yemen: Intensified ground fighting heightens civilian suffering

24 July 2015
Yemen: Intensified ground fighting heightens civilian suffering
Faj Attan, Sana'a, Yemen, May 2015. A family walks amidst the rubble littering their street. CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / T. Glass

Geneva/Sana'a (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is alarmed by the recent spike in hostilities, including intense ground fighting, which has increased the suffering of civilians.

"The suffering of the civilian population has reached unprecedented levels. More than 100 days into the crisis, severe shortages of water, food and fuel continue across the country, together with airstrikes and fighting on the ground," explained Antoine Grand, head of the ICRC delegation in Yemen.

"The last two weeks have seen an intensification of fighting in the southern governorates of Aden and Taiz where it is becoming increasingly difficult for us to reach affected areas, to evacuate the dead and the wounded and to provide life-saving assistance," he continued.

"We remain ready to facilitate the evacuation of the dead and wounded – as we are currently doing in both Aden and Taiz – and to visit detainees on both sides, but all parties must facilitate our access and respect our mandate."

At a time when humanitarian needs are ever more acute, the ICRC calls on all parties to respect and ensure respect for international humanitarian law and to allow humanitarian organizations to carry out their work in a completely impartial and independent manner. All parties must also take all feasible precautions to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure. In addition, they must ensure that all the sick and wounded, including prisoners, are treated and cared for, without discrimination.

The ICRC remains committed to helping people in Aden and elsewhere in the country. The organization has 262 staff in Yemen, of whom 144 are currently working in Sana'a, 70 in Aden, 36 in Saada and 12 in Taiz.

For further information, please contact:

Adnan Hizam (Arabic), ICRC Sana'a, tel: +967 73 372 1659
Shahin Ammane (French, English), ICRC Sanaa, tel: +967 73 750 3716
Dibeh Fakhr (English, Arabic, French), ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 37 23 or +41 79 447 37 26