“The streets of Sana’a city have become battlegounds”, Jamie McGoldrick, United Nations humanitarian coordinator in Yemen, said today in a statement. He is calling for a “humanitarian pause” on Tuesday to “allow civilians to leave their homes and seek assistance and protection”. 

While we are writing, the news of the death of Ali Abdullah Saleh reached us. Sources from General People’s Congress party confirmed to Reuters that the former Yemeni president has been killed. 

In McGoldrick’s, the UN pea for a ceasfire in the war-torn Yemen. 

Sana’a, 4 December 2017: I am extremely concerned at the continued violence in Sana’a city where armed clashes and airstrikes have continued unabated for the past days. Dozens of deaths and hundreds of injuries have been reported including civilians.

The streets of Sana’a city have become battlegrounds and people are trapped in their homes, unable to move out in search of safety and medical care and to access basic supplies such as food, fuel and safe water. Ambulances and medical teams cannot reach the injured due to ongoing clashes, with reports of some coming under attack. Aid workers remain in lockdown and unable to move, impacting many life-saving activities.

Humanitarian organisations are receiving desperate calls for help by families trapped in neighborhoods engulfed by fighting. They desperately want to safely leave their homes.

Thus, I call on all parties to the conflict to urgently enable a humanitarian pause on Tuesday 5 December, between 10.00 am and 16.00 pm to allow civilians to leave their homes and seek assistance and protection and to facilitate the movement of aid workers to ensure the continuity of life-saving programmes. The wounded must be afforded safe access to medical care.

I remind all parties to the conflict that deliberate attacks against civilians, including humanitarian and health care personnel, and against civilian and medical infrastructure, are clear violations of international humanitarian law and may constitute war crimes.

I ask Member States who have leverage on the parties to the conflict in Yemen to step up their engagement for the sake of the protection of the civilian population.

Credit: OCHA / Philippe Kropf (Yemen war. The city of Sa’ada in the Sa’ada Governorate has been heavily hit by airstrikes in the first four months of the escalation of conflict)