New York

15 August 2016

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Yemen

The Secretary-General condemns the reported coalition airstrike on a rural hospital supported by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Hajjah, Yemen, today.

The Secretary-General notes that the parties to the conflict in Yemen have damaged or destroyed over 70 health centres, including three other MSF-supported facilities. He is deeply disturbed by the intensification of airstrikes and continuing ground fighting and shelling, especially in populated areas. The shrinking humanitarian space and limited access to essential services for Yemenis, a situation exacerbated by the return to full-scale hostilities, is a matter of ever greater concern.

Hospitals and medical personnel are explicitly protected under international humanitarian law and any attack directed against them, or against any civilian persons or infrastructure, is a serious violation of international humanitarian law. All such attacks should be investigated through prompt, effective, independent and impartial mechanisms.

The Secretary-General reiterates his call on all parties to the Yemeni conflict to immediately implement the cessation of hostilities and to renew their engagement – without delay and in good faith - with his Special Envoy for Yemen in pursuit of a negotiated solution.