The consecutive airstrikes in the city of Hodeidah have once again claimed dozens of lives, with many people injured. This is a tragic reminder that in Yemen the international humanitarian law – in place to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure in times of war – continues to be broken on a daily basis.
While reiterating its strong condemnation of attacks against civilians, the European Union expects all parties to ensure the protection of the civilian population. Far too much suffering has been caused to the civilians: Bombing of densely populated areas, as well as attacks causing a destruction of schools, medical facilities, residential areas, markets, water systems, ports and airports.
More than three years into the conflict, Yemen is the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, with 22 million people in need of assistance. The only solution that can put an end to the extreme suffering of the Yemeni people is a negotiated political solution. In this context, we support the announcement by the UN Secretary-General Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, of his intention to invite the parties for a first round of consultations in Geneva on 6 September.
We expect the parties to genuinely commit to the current UN diplomatic engagement, and immediately translate such a commitment into a de-escalation throughout the different conflict areas, including Hodeidah, refraining from any actions which have the potential to jeopardise negotiations. The European Union stands with the UN Special Envoy in his aim to move the process forward.