Yemen: MSF response to military offensive

8 May 2015
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Saudi Arabia

The international medical humanitarian organisation Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) today issued the following statement in response to the Saudi-led coalition’s stated plans to heavily bomb Yemen’s Sa’ada Province.

The statement is attributed to Llanos Ortiz, MSF medical coordinator in Yemen.

Civilian targets

"The bombing of civilian targets, with or without warning, is a serious violation of international humanitarian law. It is even more serious to target a whole province.

"It is impossible for the population of the entire province of Sa’ada to leave within a few hours. Many people have neither vehicles nor fuel due to the coalition's blockade. Many others have no access to information as the phone networks are barely operational in the province.

Coalition bombing

"If the Coalition proceeds with the threat of bombing the province massively, many people will die under the bombs. We call on the coalition to avoid attacking civilian targets, especially hospitals and water distribution systems.

“There is also the risk of creating an exodus of thousands of people towards the mountains south of Sa’ada, where humanitarian aid will not reach them in time. Together with the blockade, many airports in the country have been destroyed by coalition air strikes, which could provoke an even greater humanitarian disaster than the one we are already facing.”

Together with a Yemeni ministry of health team, MSF is treating wounded people in Al Gumhury Hosptial in Saada, Yemen.

Read more about our work in Yemen