Thursday, July 20, 2017

No aid, no reporting

20 civilians have been killed in an air strike by the Saudi-led coalition while attempting to escape fighting in Yemen, according to the UN and witnesses. Survivors said a vehicle packed with families fleeing battles between government forces and Houthi rebels near the city of Taiz was hit on Tuesday. Officials said many of those killed were from the same family, including women and children.
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said it was “shocked and saddened” by the deaths in the Mawzaa district, where civilians had been displaced by intensified hostilities in the nearby port of Mocha. 
“Nowhere in Yemen safe for civilians,” said UNHCR spokesperson Shabia Mantoo. “Each of Yemen's mainland governorates is affected by conflict and tens thousands have been killed and injured. We have been advocating incessantly for respect of international humanitarian law and protection of civilians in Yemen. More must be done.”
Saudi Arabia is using British-manufactured weapons in the offensive, sparking failed legal challenge by the Campaign Against the Arms Trade in the High Court. Judges found that the Saudi-led coalition was “not deliberately targeting civilians” and alleged massacres were under investigation, concluding that it had not been established that there was “a clear risk that the items might be used in the commission of a serious violation of international humanitarian law”.
UN officials said the coalition barred one of its flights to Yemen's Houthi-controlled capital, Sana’a. The plane was going to bring aid workers and BBC reporters from Djibouti.

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