Statement by the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Mr. Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, on the recent events in Sana'a, 16 February 2017

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New York, 16 Feb 2017- Six women and a girl were killed and dozens of people were wounded as a result of an alleged airstrike, which hit a funeral in the Arhab district of Sana’a Governorate yesterday afternoon.

Every day, across Yemen, civilians are killed by indiscriminate attacks by all parties to the conflict on residential areas in complete disregard of the rules of international humanitarian law. Attacks on civilians are unjustifiable, regardless of the circumstances. Women and children in particular have been subjected to unspeakable suffering in this brutal conflict. This should stop immediately.

I call on all parties to adhere to their obligations under international humanitarian law and respect the sanctity of civilian life.

The ongoing military clashes on the Red Sea coast is also aggravating an already catastrophic humanitarian situation. Tens of thousands of civilians have been caught in the war zone without access to humanitarian assistance and unable to flee to safety. The military activities in the region threaten to disrupt the import of commercial and humanitarian supplies which could have a terrible impact on the food security for large parts of the population. I urge all parties to ensure the unhindered movement of commercial and humanitarian supplies, without which millions of Yemenis are at risk of death and famine.

This deterioration of the humanitarian situation again underscores the need to end the violence and to achieve a sustainable cessation of hostilities and enduring solution to the Yemeni conflict through an inclusive political process.