Defence for Children International is calling for a ceasefire in Yemen in conjunction with a statement released by Yemen Center for Human Rights on Monday 20 April. Yemen has been suffering continuous airstrikes since March 26. Despite the reasons behind the airstrikes, they have unnecessarily targeted civilians, women, children, and elderly, causing already a huge number of losses.
Earlier this week, on Monday 20 April, a large explosion struck Mount Attan and resulted in destruction throughout the entire city of Sana’a. The subsequent devastation killed and injured hundreds of civilians and damaged public and private buildings. Furthermore, another airstrike targeted the civilians, shops, petroleum stations, and government buildings of Saada. Many of the targets such s schools have had little to do with armed conflict. In fact, on Monday Oxfam reported that the warehouse storing aid to people of Yemen was bombed despite their report to the coalition that the warehouse only contained humanitarian aid. As a result of this continuous campaign the people of Yemen cannot access medication, food, or oil. The destruction of power stations has led to the lack of electricity for more than 7 days in all 22 governorates which is especially harmful in hospitals as they are responsible for the care of hundreds of people.
The World Health Organization estimates that since March 19, 767 people have been killed and 2,906 wounded. Among these casualties, UNICEF reports that 74 children were killed and an additional 44 were wounded (as of April 6). Children are especially vulnerable in this conflict and warring factions have increased recruitment of children, forcing them to either join the armed conflict or maiming them and displacing them from their homes. In addition, 15,000 people have been displaced as a result of the conflict. This is clearly a humanitarian crisis that must end immediately to prevent further casualties to innocent civilians and children. Regardless of the reasons for the ongoing campaign, DCI calls on both parties to the conflict to cease fighting immediately and settle the conflict in a manner that preserves the dignity of human life.