Report of the Executive Unit for Displaced Persons: Casualties and damages suffered by displaced persons in the north-west of Ma’rib governorate as a result of Houthi attacks (S/2021/405) [EN/AR]

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Since the beginning of 2021, the Houthi militia has launched a wave of attacks. The most violent have been in Ma’rib governorate, using various internationally prohibited methods of warfare, including bombing, forced displacement and abuse. Those violations have taken the heaviest toll on displaced persons, as the Houthi militia has adopted a strategy of attack via displaced person camps that may well be unprecedented in the history of warfare. Exploiting the fact that neither the Army nor the resistance is deployed around the camps, except for a limited security presence, the Houthi militia have overrun those camps in order to get around the front lines, killing dozens of displaced persons and forcing thousands of families that were already displaced to flee yet again. Camps have been subjected to artillery shelling of various kinds, with women and children accounting for most of the casualties. Those violations have resulted in an unspeakable humanitarian disaster. Hundreds of families have lost their shelters, as dozens of dwellings and tents have been burned down. Various kinds of physical and psychological harm have been inflicted upon hundreds of displaced persons, who have endured days and nights of siege by the Houthi militia and ended up without a roof over their heads after fleeing the repeated bombardment.

Executive summary

Since 6 February 2021, the Houthi militia has carried out 43 attacks, firing artillery and Katyusha rockets; using unmanned aerial vehicles; and conducting raids against and besieging displaced persons. Those attacks took place in the Sirwah and Madghal districts, across nine internally displaced persons camps in north-western and western Ma’rib. As a result, 32 people were injured, including 11 women and 6 children; 3,030 families were displaced and forced to relocate after fleeing the Houthi shelling; and the main water well in Zawr camp in Sirwah and 21 mobile water tanks were destroyed by artillery shells. In addition, 89 tent dwellings for the displaced in the aforementioned camps burned down as a result of the shelling.