Middle East

Yemen casualties halved since ceasefire, says NGO

Civilian casualties in Yemen have decreased by more than 50 per cent since the start of the two-month truce early last month, according to a press release yesterday by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).

Citing data from the Civilian Impact Monitoring Project, prior to the UN-brokered ceasefire which commenced with the month of Ramadan, 213 civilians were injured or killed. In the month that followed, this was reduced to 95.

“The figures provide clear proof of the benefits from the truce. During the last month, many families were spared from having their lives shattered by the loss of family members to a meaningless war. For the sake of the Yemeni people and their future, we hope the parties to the conflict will extend the truce,” said Erin Hutchinson, Yemen Country Director for the NRC.

READ: UN to stop oil spill off Yemen’s coast

The nation-wide truce started on 2 April after an agreement was reached between the warring factions in the conflict which has lasted for more than seven years, claimed the lives of more than 300,000 people and led to the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

However, while data has shown a “significant reduction” in the number of casualties from air strikes, shellfire and shooting, the humanitarian organisation noted that the number of those wounded or killed by landmines and unexploded ordnance remained the same or higher.

“That people are still being injured and killed by landmines and improvised explosive devices, shows the critical need for a long-lasting peace, so that these remnants of war can be removed and more lives saved,” Hutchinson stressed.

“We urge the warring parties to adhere to their commitments and work to find a peaceful resolution to this conflict, which has already killed and maimed thousands, and deprived millions of their livelihoods,” she added.

On Tuesday, the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, arrived in the southern port city of Aden for a two-day visit and held meetings with Rashad Al-Alimi, the president of the recently formed Presidential Leadership Council, and other senior officials of the internationally-recognised government to discuss recent breaches of the truce and urged the warring sides to uphold the ceasefire.

READ: UNICEF provides humanitarian aid to thousands of displaced Yemenis

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