Alarm at spike in civilian deaths in Yemen

Listen /

The humanitarian situation in Yemen is “untenable”, according to OHCHR, which has called for all parties to the conflict to allow aid into the country. Photo: UN Photo/WFP

Amid ongoing fighting in Yemen, the UN raised the alarm on Tuesday over the steep rise in the number of civilian casualties and the deteriorating humanitarian situation there.

In the southern city of Taiz, the UN human rights office, OHCHR, said that 95 civilians have been killed in the past two weeks alone.

The UN office says that 53 of these people reportedly died as a result of airstrikes by Saudi-led coalition forces which are targeting Houthi rebels.

Here’s Daniel Johnson’s report from Geneva.

Following a spike in civilian deaths in Yemen in recent weeks, the UN human rights office, OHCHR, said that one city has seen nearly 100 civilians killed in just two weeks.

That city is Taiz, in the south of the country.

There, more than half of the victims died from aerial bombardments directed by Saudi-led coalition forces at Houthi rebels, OHCHR said.

The remaining civilians died from sniper fire and shelling attacks, reportedly by fighters linked to Houthi rebels.

All the while the humanitarian situation is as dire as ever in Yemen.

And it’s been made worse by the blockage of supply routes into Taiz city by fighters linked to the Houthis, according to the UN human rights office.

Since the escalation of the armed conflict on 26 March, OHCHR has documented more than 2,100 civilian deaths, though the actual numbers are believed to be much higher.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations, Geneva

Duration: 0’54”