United Nations system in Yemen deplores the use of violence against civilians

15 Jun 2011

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The United Nations System in Yemen expresses deep concern about the escalation of violence in the South of Yemen and particularly in Abyan where armed confrontations have caused intolerable suffering among the civilian population. As a result of the armed clashes, thousands of people including women and children have been forcefully displaced to Aden, Lahj and rural communities in Abyan. 

Humanitarian actors have not been able to reach affected communities; some of whom are reported to be trapped. It is reported that civilians who remain in the area are in acute danger and do not have access to fundamental basic services. International Humanitarian Law obliges the armed actors to take effective measures to avoid causing suffering to the civilian population. The principle of distinction between civilian and military targets should be applied to the current situation as one of the cornerstones of International Humanitarian Law. The targeting of civilians and the obstruction of humanitarian aid constitute a serious violation of International Law.

The UN System in Yemen deplores the use of violence against civilians and urges all parties to ensure an immediate cessation of hostilities in order to bring an end to the suffering of the civilian population and allow humanitarian actors to provide a timely response to the affected people who are in dire need of humanitarian assistance.