Deploring airstrikes in Yemen, Ban urges conflict parties to ‘cease all military activities,’ begin dialogue

This building in Yemen was destroyed by airstrikes. Photo: OCHA/P. Kropf

16 March 2016 – Condemning the airstrikes that hit a market in northern Yemen yesterday, reportedly killing and wounding scores of civilians, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has underscored that “attacks directed against civilians and civilian objects, including populated markets, are strictly prohibited.”

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban condemned the airstrikes that hit al-Khamees market in Mastaba district in the Hajjah province of Yemen yesterday.

“This incident is one of the deadliest – reportedly killing and wounding scores of civilians, including women and children – since the start of the conflict. This is the second major incident of this kind in just over two weeks,” said the statement.

It went on to say that the Secretary-General underscores to all parties the utmost necessity to fully respect their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights laws, including the fundamental rules of distinction, proportionality and precaution.

“Attacks directed against civilians and civilian objects, including populated markets, are strictly prohibited,” said the statement, adding that the UN chief stressed that any intentional attack against civilians or civilian objects is a serious violation of international humanitarian law.

Mr. Ban in the statement also noted that it is critical to carry out prompt, effective, independent and impartial investigations into all allegations of serious violations.

“The Secretary-General continues to urge all parties to the conflict to cease all military activities and to start to resolve all differences and outstanding issues in a new round of peaceful negotiations facilitated by his Special Envoy for Yemen,” said the statement.

Finally, Mr. Ban expressed his sincere condolences and sympathies to the families of the victims and wishes a speedy recovery to those injured.


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