Extremely concerned by reports of rising tensions in Yemen’s Taiz governorate, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for the crisis-gripped country has called for a “humanitarian pause” to protect civilians.
“I call on all parties to agree immediately to a humanitarian pause in order to protect civilians and work with the UN and humanitarian partners to facilitate the treatment and evacuation of the war wounded and the delivery of urgently needed medicine and other life-saving assistance,” said Jamie McGoldrick in a statement issued yesterday by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
The Humanitarian Coordinator said he is particularly concerned about the reinforcement of the closure on Taiz city as well as the escalation of hostilities in the area of Al-Sarari.
“I remind all parties to the conflict of their obligation under international humanitarian law to allow sustained and unconditional humanitarian access to all people in need of assistance,” said Mr. McGoldrick.
“It is unacceptable to hold civilian populations hostage and deprived of humanitarian assistance in pursuit of political and military gains. All parties who violate international humanitarian law must remember that they could be held to account,” he added.
The cessation of hostilities declared on 10 April to end nearly 16 months of conflict in Yemen has continued to provide relief from violence in many parts of the country, but serious violations have occurred in Marib, al Jawf, Taiz and in the border areas with Saudi Arabia.