News release

Yemen: Urgent plea to warring parties to spare civilians

Geneva / Sana'a – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is warning that the situation for thousands of civilians in Yemen is deteriorating fast, following a dramatic increase in fighting. Many civilians have become trapped in the cross-fire.

The situation has significantly worsened in the areas of Al Mokha, Hodeida, Taiz and Dhubab. Families have been unable to escape due to the intense fighting.

"Civilians are at risk of paying an even heavier price as the fighting continues. We call on all parties involved to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law. They must take every feasible precaution to avoid harming civilians and those no longer taking part in hostilities," said Robert Mardini, ICRC's regional director for the Near and Middle East.

Those who wish to leave for safer areas must be allowed to do so at any time. Those who choose to stay, or who are unable to leave, remain protected by international humanitarian law. The wounded – civilians and combatants – must receive medical care as promptly as possible. Fighters who have surrendered or been captured must not be killed and must be treated humanely.

"We have requested access to Al Mokha, and other affected areas, and we stand ready to deliver much needed aid to the civilian population", added Mr. Mardini.

For further information, please contact:
Soumaya Beltifa , ICRC Sana'a, tel: + 967 73 607 19 67
Adnan Hizam, ICRC Sana'a, tel: + 967 73 372 1659
Iolanda Jaquemet, ICRC Geneva, +41 79 447 37 26