Attacks on civilians are prohibited under international humanitarian law

Attacks on civilians are prohibited under international humanitarian law

ef. According to WHO 1,300 people have become victims of the bloody conflict in Yemen until the end of April, 5,210 have been injured. More than 300,000 people in Yemen are fleeing according to the United Nations. Millions of people are depending on humanitarian aid. As the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” reported on 7 May, 22 active aid organizations in Yemen recently called for an immediate end to the air and sea blockade imposed by Saudi Arabia, in order to be able to supply the suffering civilian population with food, fuel and medicine (see Current Concerns, No 12 of 11.5.2015).
Since the end of April, the international airport in the capital Sanaa was brought to a standstill after the Arab military coalition had bombed it. This means that humanitarian aid essential for survival could no longer be delivered to the country. On 4 May, the ICRC and MSF have released another alarming statement after weeks of warning against a humanitarian disaster. On Friday, the ICRC team wrote on Twitter: “With or without previous warning: direct attacks on civilians or civilian objects are prohibited under international humanitarian law”. Even the humanitarian coordinator of the UN for Yemen, Johannes van der Klaauw, urgently called in his statement, “to preserve this important lifeline – and all other ports and airports – so that humanitarian workers can reach those who have been affected by the armed conflict in Yemen”.
Only on Friday, 8 May, Saudi Arabia had announced a five-day cease-fire in Yemen starting on Tuesday to supply the needy population. The Yemeni aviation authorities expressed on the same day that the runway destroyed by several airstrikes should be repaired in order to allow relief flights.
On Saturday, 9 May, the news reached us that warp lanes of the Arab military coalition under the leadership of Saudi Arabia bombed the Sanaa airport again, which was to be re-opened for aid shipments.     •

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