June 15, 2020 – After reports by local media of two airstrikes killing 13 people on Monday, including at least four children, Xavier Joubert, Save the Children’s country director in Yemen, said:
“We’re horrified to learn of the deaths of 13 civilians, including four children, today in Yemen. Their car was bombed while they were returning from a local market in Razeh. Our team contacted the hospital in Sa’ada immediately to offer support, but unfortunately it was too late.
“This tragedy is yet more proof that, even though the war in Yemen has dropped off the radar of many people, it is still far from over. Millions of children are trapped in a toxic cycle of violence, fear, malnutrition and disease, while bombs are falling and COVID-19 is holding the country in a tight grip, taking children’s loved ones at will.
“It’s a very sad irony that this attack happened on the day that the annual UN report on Children and Armed Conflict is coming out. In it, the Saudi and Emirati led coalition – which was previously listed for the killing and maiming of children – is let off by the UN Secretary-General, in effect giving them a pass to continue their business as usual. The attack shows that such a decision is far too premature. Children are still dying from bombs almost daily.
“The COVID-19 outbreak in the country should have led to a ceasefire, with all parties – and especially the Yemeni people – focused on fighting the virus. Instead, not only is the virus still spreading and health systems all but collapsing, children continue to be killed and maimed.
“The only solution to this crisis is a political one – that means an immediate end to hostilities, and a return to the negotiation tables to come to a lasting peace. This is the only way Yemenis will ever be able to begin rebuilding their lives.”