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EU warns of Saudi attacks’ alarming impact on civilians

 
 
 
 
 
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EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini has warned about the alarming impact of the ongoing Saudi attacks on the civilian population in Yemen.

“The impact on the civilian population, in particular on children, of the ongoing fighting between different militias, bombardments and disruption of essential services is reaching alarming proportions,” Mogherini and the EU humanitarian aid commissioner, Christos Stylianides, said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

The statement referred to the airstrike on the al-Marzaq refugee camp in the northern province of Hajjah, where at least 29 civilians were killed on Monday.

“The airstrike on the al-Marzaq camp in Hajjah, mostly hosting displaced persons, killed and wounded a high number of civilians,” the statement read, adding, “The attacks on hospitals and medical facilities… as well as the deliberate targeting and destruction of private homes, education facilities and basic infrastructure cannot be tolerated.”

It also urged all warring sides to protect civilians and avoid targeting infrastructures. “We call on all sides to give unrestricted access to humanitarians, so that they can keep delivering vital assistance to the most vulnerable people.”

The statement further noted that the EU will support efforts to resolve the crisis in Yemen through negotiations with the participation of all parties involved.

“The EU will continue to support all efforts to bring the Yemeni parties back to the negotiating table, on the basis of broad and inclusive participation, without preconditions and with the clear objective to reach a sustainable political compromise.”

On March 31, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein warned that Yemen “seems to be on the verge of total collapse.”

Saudi Arabia’s air campaign in Yemen started on March 26 in a bid to restore power to fugitive former Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh.

Hadi stepped down in January and refused to reconsider the decision despite calls by the Houthi Ansarullah movement.

On March 25, the embattled president fled the southern city of Aden, where he had sought to set up a rival power base, to the Saudi capital, Riyadh, after Ansarullah revolutionaries advanced on Aden.

The Ansarullah fighters took control of the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, in September 2014 and are currently moving southward. The revolutionaries said the Hadi government was incapable of properly running the affairs of the country and containing the growing wave of corruption and terror.

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