The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:
The Secretary-General condemns the air strikes launched earlier today by the Saudi-led Coalition against a detention centre in Saada city. Initial reports indicate at least 60 deaths and over 100 injured among the inmates. Further air strikes have been reported elsewhere in Yemen, also with reports of deaths and injuries among civilians, including children. An air strike on telecommunications facilities in Hudaydah has also significantly disrupted vital Internet services across much of the country.
The Secretary-General reminds all parties that attacks directed against civilians and civilian infrastructure are prohibited by international humanitarian law. He further reminds all parties of their obligations under international humanitarian law to ensure that civilians are protected against the dangers arising from military operations, adhering to the principles of proportionality, distinction and precaution.
The Secretary-General calls for prompt, effective and transparent investigations into these incidents to ensure accountability.
The Secretary-General calls for urgent de-escalation of the situation and urges the parties to engage with his Special Envoy to advance the political process to reach a negotiated settlement to end the conflict. Recalling the severe humanitarian crisis in Yemen, he urges donors and all other stakeholders to enable humanitarian relief efforts with adequate funding, access and other support.