Mounting civilian casualties, humanitarian concerns as Yemen fighting continues, warns UN

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Sana, Yemen. Image: Wikipedia.

MIL OSI – Source: United Nations – Mounting civilian casualties, humanitarian concerns as Yemen fighting continues, warns UN

6 April 2015 – The violence in Yemen continues to wreak havoc upon the country’s civilian population and restrict humanitarian access to those most in need amid a spate of aerial attacks and ground incursions, the United Nations has reported.

In the last 24 hours alone, air strikes aimed at halting rebel activities have hit the Yemeni cities of Aden, Al Dhale’e, Sana’a, Sa’ada, Al Hudaydah, and Hajjah Governorates killing at least eight civilians, according to information provided today by the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the press.

At the same time, clashes are continuing in the country’s south as Houthis and Government forces battle in Aden and Ma’ala, where a number of civilian targets have reportedly been destroyed including four residential buildings and a number of bridges connecting two major roads from Aden.

The situation in Yemen has been rapidly deteriorating since the country formed a new Government in November 2014 aimed at ending a period of political turbulence and bringing about a full transition towards democracy. The country continued to be plagued by violence and political demonstrations despite UN efforts to bring about a peaceful political resolution.

As the fighting has ratcheted up in intensity, the World Health Organization (WHO) today also released its estimates suggesting that more than 540 people have been killed and some 1,700 others wounded by the violence in Yemen since 19 March.

Against that backdrop, increasing numbers of people from Sana’a and Sa’ada are reportedly being displaced to Amran Governorate, just north of the country’s capital. OCHA said local partners estimated that up 28,000 people had moved into Amran since the beginning of the crisis and warned that the fighting risked interrupting humanitarian access, such as medical supplies, to those civilians most in need.

In addition, the ongoing shelling in Aden has disrupted the city’s waterworks with the need to ensure a reliable water supply becoming an “urgent priority” for humanitarian partners.

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Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.

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