Despite Ceasefire: Five Children Killed in Yemen

Children in Yemen Children in Yemen © AFP 2019

4 March 2019

The United Nations’ says the war in Yemen continues to take a “horrific toll” on children despite a partial ceasefire.

After violence resulted in the death of five children in the western province of Hudaydah despite a partial ceasefire, UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore stated on Saturday, “In Yemen, children can no longer safely do the things that all children love to do, like go to school or spend time with their friends outside. The war can reach them wherever they are, even in their own homes.” While the warring parties in the country signed a UN-led partial ceasefire agreement last December, this did not save the five children from being killed in an attack on the Tahita District, which is a crucial gateway for the entry of aid into the province, desperately needed to save millions of Yemenis from starvation.


An agreement on a ceasefire in Hudaydah was reached late last year between Yemen’s Saudi Arabian-backed former regime and the country’s Houthi Ansarullah movement. Saudi Arabia and a number of its allies have been waging a war on Yemen for the past five years to restore the former regime, which fled the country amid popular discontent. According to the WHO, some 10,000 people have been killed since the coalition launched war, but rights groups put the death toll at five times this rate. Each day, on average eight children are killed or injured across 31 active conflict zones in the country. UNICEF’s Fore continued by stating that, “talks and conferences have so far done little to change the reality for children on the ground. Only a comprehensive peace agreement can give Yemeni children the reprieve from violence and war that they need and deserve.”

Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF’s Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said that generosity and aid will not, on their own, bring an end to children’s suffering in Yemen, and called on warring parties to “put an end to violence in hotspots and across all of Yemen, protect civilians, keep children out of harm’s way and allow humanitarian deliveries to children and their families wherever they are in the country.”


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