Warring parties in Yemen urged to protect civilians

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The High Commissioner wants international humanitarian law to be “scrupulously respected”, UN spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani said. UN Photo

The rising death toll from fighting in Yemen prompted the UN's top human rights official Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein on Tuesday to call for warring parties to "take maximum care" in protecting civilians.

The development follows reports from the UN's human rights office that airstrikes backed by a Saudi and US-backed coalition have hit people's homes, killing at least 10 civilians.

In addition to the deaths of hundreds of fighters, latest UN figures to 12 April show at least 736 civilian deaths and more than

2700 people injured as the conflict continues between government-backed forces and Houthi rebels.

Daniel Johnson has more.

In his appeal, the UN's top Human Rights official called for all sides involved in the conflict to ensure that international humanitarian law was "scrupulously respected".

Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein's declaration comes amid reports that dozens of public buildings including hospitals, schools and mosques

have been targeted in recent aerial attacks.

In a statement on Tuesday the high commissioner also demanded that attacks resulting in civilian casualties are promptly investigated.

Ravina Shamdasani is the High Commissioner's spokesperson:

"Every hour we're receiving and documenting deeply disturbing and distressing reports of the toll that this conflict is taking on

civilian lives and infrastructure. The High Commissioner is warning that such a heavy civilian death toll ought to be a clear indication to all parties to this conflict that there may be serious problems in the conduct of hostilities."

The UN official said that street fighting had intensified in densely populated areas including Aden in the south of the country.

And there's been reported child recruitment in Aden, Dhale and Mareb as fighting continues between ousted president Abd

Rabbo Mansour Hadi on one side, and those affiliated with the Houthis and former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Meanwhile, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that 121,000 people had been internally

displaced since air strikes began on 26 March, mainly in the country's north-west.

UN children's fund UNICEF also said that a second airlift had successfully arrived in the country, carrying 76 tonnes of mainly

medical equipment and water supplies.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations

Duration: 1'34"

 

 

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