UN agency calls for "humanitarian pause" on attacks in Yemeni capital

Source: Xinhua| 2017-12-05 05:54:12|Editor: yan
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GENEVA, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Monday called for a "humanitarian pause" to armed clashes and airstrikes in the Yemen capital of Sanaa that have recently killed dozens of people including civilians.

OCHA in a statement cited its Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, as saying, "I am extremely concerned at the continued violence in Sanaa city where armed clashes and airstrikes have continued unabated for the past days."

He said dozens of deaths and hundreds of injuries have been reported including civilians and the streets of Sanaa city have become battlegrounds.

"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," said McGoldrick.

"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."

The OCHA representative said that humanitarian organizations are receiving desperate calls for help by families trapped in neighborhoods engulfed by fighting and 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," he said.

This would 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 programs.

"The wounded must be afforded safe access to medical care," said McGoldrick.

He noted 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.