State of Crisis: Explosive Weapons in Yemen

Explosive weapons in Yemen kill and injure nearly 4,500 civilians in first seven months of 2015

Yemen is the worst country for civilian deaths and injuries from explosive weapon use in the first seven months of 2015, says a new publication produced by UK-based charity Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

In State of Crisis, AOAV and OCHA investigate the humanitarian impacts of the use of explosive weapons in populated areas in Yemen during the conflict up to 31 July 2015.

Key findings

Between 1 January and 31 July 2015 AOAV recorded:

124 incidents of explosive violence in Yemen resulting in 5,239 deaths and injuries;

86% of those killed and injured were civilians (4,493);

More civilian deaths and injuries from explosive weapons were recorded in Yemen during the first seven months of 2015 than in any other country in the world;

When explosive weapons were used in populated areas, civilians made up 95% of reported deaths and injuries;

13 separate incidents in Yemen each killed and injured more than 100 civilians. Eight of these incidents were air strikes;

Air strikes have killed and injured the most civilians, with 2,682 civilian deaths and injuries (60%).

The impact of explosive weapons in Yemen goes far beyond the immediate deaths and injuries recorded by AOAV. The report uses testimonies and experiences of victims and witnesses to illustrate some of the long-term impacts that can cause extensive suffering far into the future, even after the fighting ends.

Robert Perkins, author of the report, says: "Our findings show Yemen is the worst country in the world this year for civilians affected by explosive violence, more devastating even than the crisis in Syria and Iraq. An already vulnerable population is now faced with a country reduced o rubble by falling bombs and rockets. Their homes destroyed, their families torn apart, it will take a many years to recover from the last few terrible months in Yemen.

The crisis in Yemen shows exactly why explosive weapons with wide-area effects have no place being used in populated areas. All parties to this conflict must immediately stop the bombing of civilians and civilian areas."

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.