Civilian casualties rise as fighting escalates in Aden, Yemen

Civilians after mosque bast, Aden, Yemen Civilians after mosque bast, Aden, Yemen Yemen Press

11 August 2019

Violence escalates between Yemen’s internationally recognised government and the Southern Transitional Council (STC) resulting in  more civilian casualties

In the past days, a conflict between pro governmental groups and separatist groups has dominated the city of Aden in Yemen. According to the United Nations (UN), 40 civilians were killed. On August 11, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) reported that 119 people were wounded in the clashes and have subsequently been treated in the MSF hospital in Aden.  The organization believes that most of the civilians were injured while trying to shelter themselves during the violent encounter and were wounded by shrapnel from explosive weapons or stray bullets . The International Red Cross (ICRC) said they provided 60 body bags to two hospitals in Aden.

The clashes between the group loyal to Yemen’s internationally recognised government and the STC, backed by the United Arab Emirates, which fights for southern independence are the most violent and long-lasting confrontations seen  in the port city so far. The two sides do not seem to show concern for civilian life. They continue to fight in densely populated civilian neighborhoods and are using indiscriminate weapons, such as mortars and bullets, killing innocent civilians. In addition to fighting in densely populated neighborhoods, violence has now spread to areas within the city that were previously unaffected. According to Human Rights Watch, “the neighborhoods affected include the Crater, Mualla, Dar Saad, and Khormaksar areas of central Aden, as well as areas in Bureika, where the Saudi-led coalition controls a military base.”

Civilians cannot leave their homes and many of them do not have access to hospitals or medical supplies. The airport in Aden has been closed, preventing anyone from leaving the country, even if they are in need of urgent medical care.

The United Nations' special envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, called for de-escalation of the situation in Aden stating: “I call on the parties involved to abandon violence and engage in dialogue to resolve differences. I also urge all those with influence to de-escalate the situation and ensure the protection of civilians."



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Author: Giulia DeLuca, Editor: Alkesandra Krol

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