UN chief condemns attack on Yemeni hospital supported by Médecins Sans Frontières

An infant in an incubator at Al-Sabeen Hospital in Sana’a. Intensive fighting and bombing has caused frequent power cuts, shortage of medicines and fuel paralyzing hospitals across Yemen. Photo: UNICEF/Magd Farid

11 January 2016 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned yesterday’s attack on a hospital supported by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Sa’ada province, Yemen, which killed at least four people and injured many others.

In a statement issued by his Spokesperson, Mr. Ban expressed his sincere condolences and deepest sympathies to the families of the victims and to the Yemeni people.

This is the latest in a series of attacks on health facilities, following those in 2015 on the MSF-supported Haydan Medical Hospital in Sa’ada and a mobile health clinic in Taiz.

“The Secretary-General is extremely concerned about the increasingly limited access to essential health care services for Yemenis,” the statement underlined. “He emphasizes that hospitals and medical personnel are explicitly protected under international humanitarian law and that any intentional attack against civilians and civilian infrastructure is considered a serious violation of international humanitarian law.”

The statement further called for this incident to be investigated “through prompt, effective, independent and impartial mechanisms to ensure accountability.”

“The Secretary-General again repeats his call on all parties involved in the Yemeni conflict to immediately cease all hostilities and resolve differences through peaceful negotiations facilitated by his Special Envoy,” it added.

This attack comes just days after the UN chief voiced his “deep concern” about the intensification of Saudi-led coalition airstrikes and ground fighting and shelling in Yemen, despite repeated calls for a renewed cessation of hostilities.

The United Nations recently reported that civilians are suffering a “terrible toll” in the fighting, with casualties now topping 8,100, with nearly 2,800 of them killed.


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UN chief ‘deeply concerned’ about intensification of airstrikes and ground fighting in Yemen

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