Yemen bus attack just the latest outrage against civilians: UN agencies

Giles Clarke/OCHA
A young boy runs with his tyre past buildings damaged by air strikes in Saada Old Town.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

An air strike on a busy market area in Yemen that reportedly killed scores of people including more than 20 children on a bus, is likely the worst attack on youngsters in the conflict so far, and the latest in a recent spate of violence targeting civilians, UN agencies said on Friday.

According to the UN Human Rights Office, OHCHR, and UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, at least 21 boys – most of them under the age of 15 – died when their bus was hit on Thursday in Dahyan market in Saada, in the north of the country.

More than 30 boys were also injured in the aerial bombardment, which was carried out by a Saudi-led international coalition that has backed Yemen President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi against Houthi opposition forces for more than three years.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres strongly condemned the attack on Thursday, urging an “independent and prompt investigation”, adding that warring parties must take “constant care to spare civilians”.

The UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, said that he was “deeply shocked by the appalling tragedy that claimed so many innocent lives”. The UN official has invited the warring parties to Geneva on 6 September in a bid to reach a political solution to the conflict – the first such discussions since 2016.

“This should urge us all to exert more efforts to end the conflict through an inclusive intra-Yemeni dialogue,” he added, stressing that he hoped all of those involved in the fighting across the country will “engage constructively in the political process, including consultations scheduled in Geneva in September.”

Briefing journalists in Geneva on Friday, UNICEF spokesperson Christophe Boulierac said that the agency believed the air strike on the school bus constituted “the single worst attack” on children since 2015. “No such number of children have been involved in one incident before,” he added. Mr. Boulierac explained that following the attack, UNICEF staff on the ground reported chaotic scenes at the hospital where victims were being treated, adding that the number of fatalities could rise.

Reiterating the UN chief’s call for Yemen’s belligerents to spare civilians, OHCHR spokesperson Liz Throssell noted that the bus attack followed a series of more minor – but deadly – incidents involving youngsters last month.

“A large number of children were killed yesterday appallingly, but in July, there are all manner of smaller incidents,” she said. “On 19 July, there were four children killed when a coalition air strike struck a farm. On 30 July, two children were killed when an air strike hit a motorbike. On 31 July, two children were killed; they were out with their sheep, grazing, and they took a direct hit from an aerial strike.”

Turning to the recent targeting of a hospital and other targets in the key Houthi-controlled port city of Hudaydah, the OHCHR spokesperson said that staff there had documented “at least” 41 civilian deaths. Among the dead were six children and four women, Ms. Throssell said, noting that mortars had struck different built-up locations in Al Hawak district.

These included the fishing port, a dock and hangar “at the time full of fishermen and street vendors”, the OHCHR spokesperson explained, adding that Al-Thawra hospital was hit shortly afterwards. In that attack, three mortars were fired, including one that landed in a busy street “full of traffic, street vendors and pedestrians”, Ms. Throssell said.

Between 26 March and 9 August 2018, OHCHR has documented 17,062 civilian casualties in Yemen; this includes 6,592 dead and 10,470 injured. The majority of these casualties – 10,471 – were as a result of air strikes carried out by the Saudi-led Coalition, it said in a statement.

Amid ongoing conflict in one of the world’s poorest countries, UNICEF warned that the consequences for children have been particularly striking.

“Every day in Yemen, children are starving, children are dying because of the level of violence and its consequences,” spokesperson Christophe Boulierac said. “1.8 million children are at risk of diarrhoeal diseases, 1.3 million children are at risk of pneumonia, more than 4 million children are in acute need of educational assistance. So, any violence in Yemen, any facility that provides water indirectly threatens the lives of children.”

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

Auditors say EU spending delivers limited value for money but the timing of their report poses questions

Here are five tips to make your message clear in a crowded world

G7 summit: Trump Vs. G6 leaders on trade and climate change

Medicine in the 4th Industrial Revolution: the third entity of the new doctor-patient relationship

Five cities short-listed to become the European Youth Capital 2017

Europe rethinking its severe austerity policies

Let your fingers do the walking

Brussels wins game and match in Ukraine no matter the electoral results

Entrepreneur India Convention 2016: Bringing together Entrepreneurs, Investors, Startups and SMEs

It’s time for the world to stand up behind South Africa

European Youth Forum @ European Business Summit 2014: European Youth Unemployment

Parliament compromises on Banking Union but sends market abusers to jail

European Solidarity Corps: Commission opens new call for project proposals

Climate Change: a challenge yet to be tackled in medical schools

Grexit no longer a threat but how to manage a “tutti frutti” government if not with fear?

ECB is about to lend trillions to banks

EU Commission says falling labour remuneration leads to deflation and damages growth prospects

Eurozone: In vicious cycle of disinflation and unemployment?

WHO study reveals ‘game-changer’ drug with potential to save thousands of women’s lives in childbirth

Ambassador Zhang Ming: “Work Together for a Better Globalization”

Why EU’s working and unemployed millions remain uncertain or even desperate about their future

Berlin ‘orders’ the EU Parliament to compromise

“The Sea is vast as it admits all rivers”, Ambassador Yang Yanyi of the Chinese Mission to EU gives her farewell address in Brussels

Learn from the margin, not the center: digital innovation with social impact as transformative force bridging digital divide

More solidarity and interaction between generations needed to challenge age stereotypes and ingrained ageism

European Youth Capital 2018 : Cascais

Europe slammed by Turkey’s shaky Erdoğan; both playing with immigrants’ agony

The umpteenth Italian overturn takes Renzi and PD to unprecedented victory at EU elections

Cybersecurity Act: build trust in digital technologies

Afghanistan: UN condemns blasts that leave 8 dead at cricket stadium

October’s EU strong digital mix: From Safe Harbour to Net Neutrality, Roaming and Snowden

Trump ostracized by his party and world elites but still remains in course; how can he do it?

TTIP: why it is worth not to pull the covers over your head?

My ‘’cultural’’ contacts with China

The Brits are not an exception and that’s why they voted to leave

GSMA Mobile 360 Series – Europe – 14 June 2016

‘True’ peace, requires standing up for human rights, says UN chief Guterres

EU to give more power to national antitrust authorities in a bid to secure regulatory fines

EU to fail 2050 Green targets due to lack of European citizens’ engagement

Eurasian Union begins: the giant modelled on the EU is Moscow’s biggest challenge

Action needed to end deadly clashes between African herders and farmers: UN chief

Changing balances: leaders of medical research worldwide

The US and EU decisively oppose Erdogan’s plans for Turkey and beyond

Eurogroup president swallows statement on savings confiscation

EU regional differences betray an unjust arrangement

‘Unconscionable’ to kill aid workers, civilians: UN Emergency Coordinator

As Saudi women take the wheel, UN chief hopes end of driving ban creates more opportunities for kingdom’s women and girls

Fear casts again a cold, ugly shadow over Europe; Turkey sides with Russia

EU accused of being too nice with Gazprom in the infamous antitrust case

EU-Western Balkans summit in Sofia

To beat hunger and combat climate change, world must ‘scale-up’ soil health – UN

Crimean crisis: not enough to slow down European indices

JADE @ European Business Summit 2014: Youth Unemployment – a drive to Entrepreneurship

A Sting Exclusive: “Youth voice must be heard in climate change negotiations!”, Bérénice Jond Board Member of European Youth Forum demands from Brussels

UNICEF appeals for end to ‘war on children’ in Syria and Yemen

Trade protectionism and cartels threaten democracy

Europe’s richest regions actively seek investment from China’s biggest banks

Parliament votes for €1 billion in aid to Ukraine

ECB: A revolutionary idea to revitalize the European economy with cheap loans to SMEs

The European Youth Forum needs better signal for its “call” for Quality Internships

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s