Civilians Reported Killed, Dozens Injured; Some Still Under the Rubble

From: Human Rights Watch:

On March 19, 2024, Houthi authorities detonated a house with explosives in Radaa in al-Bayda governorate, reportedly killing civilians and injuring dozens. Among those killed were children and nine members from one family, according to media reports. More people are believed to be under the rubble of neighboring homes damaged or destroyed by the explosion. The Houthis have controlled al-Bayda, 200 kilometers southeast of Sanaa, Yemen’s largest city, since September 2021.

The Houthi Interior Ministry acknowledged that their forces were responsible, stating it was an “irresponsible reaction by some security individuals who used excessive and illegal force, and that was without the knowledge of the Ministry of Interior.” However, the Houthis, also known as Ansar Allah, have not shared further details on the individuals responsible, and Houthi forces have previously attacked civilian structures, including homes.

The intentional attack on people under the Houthis’ authority is a serious violation of international law, Human Rights Watch said.

The following quote can be attributed to Michael Page, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch:

“Houthi forces in Yemen are continuing their brutal treatment of civilians under their rule by deliberately detonating a residential home and apparently killing at least nine people from the same family. The Houthis’ acknowledgment of this grave violation will ring hollow unless they immediately investigate these crimes, hold those responsible to account, and provide prompt and adequate reparations for those affected.”


Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, Speaks to the UN Security Council.


From: The United Nations

The Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, today (14 Mar) told the Security Council that while “hopes and expectations” for an agreement on a nationwide ceasefire and measures to improve living conditions in Yemen have not been met, “efforts in finalising and implementing a UN roadmap remain undeterred.”

Grundberg said, “I had hoped I would be briefing you about the preparations for an inclusive political process. Public sector employees across the country should have been receiving their salaries and pensions. Oil exports should have resumed, which could have enabled more effective service delivery and improved economic conditions. And we should have had another agreement on the release of prisoners, allowing loved ones to return home in time for Ramadan.”

Instead of such an agreement, Grundberg told the Council that regional developments since the war in Gaza have impacted Yemen.

He said, “the longer the escalatory environment continues, the more challenging Yemen’s mediation space will become. With more interests at play, the parties to the conflict in Yemen are more likely to shift calculations and alter their negotiation agendas. In a worst-case scenario, the parties could decide to engage in risky military adventurism that propels Yemen back into a new cycle of war.”

Briefing on the humanitarian situation, the Director of Operations and Advocacy at Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Edem Wosornu said, “for most people in Yemen, food insecurity is an issue of affordability, not accessibility. As people in Yemen very clearly told me when I visited the Governorates of Aden, Sana’a, and Amran last week – they want sustainable solutions to the causes of their humanitarian needs, and the opportunity to define for themselves how to rebuild their futures.”

Yemeni Ambassador Abdullah al-Saadi for his part told the Council that “the continued aggression against commercial ships carrying food and humanitarian assistance to Yemeni ports is considered an economic siege against us. It will only exacerbate the humanitarian situation, hiking prices of basic foodstuff, increased costs of transportation, insurance, and overall costs. It will also hinder the supply chains and lead to food insecurity.”

Outside the Council, Grundberg told reporters that “recent developments, including the continued escalation in the Red Sea, is complicating the mediation space for finalising and implementing the United Nations roadmap,” which was “meant to operationalise the parties commitments to a ceasefire and the resumption of an inclusive political process under UN auspices and measures to improve living conditions in Yemen.”

He also cautioned that “the longer the escalatory environment continues, the more challenging it will become” and emphasised “the importance of remaining focussed on the long term aims that we are seeking to achieve in Yemen.”

The needs and the priorities of the Yemeni population” he said, “have not changed since the recent regional escalation, and they have only grown more urgent.”

Since November of last year, Ansar Allah has been targeting vessels in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. And, in response, since January, the United States and United Kingdom have struck military targets in Ansar Allah-controlled areas.

Last week, Ansar Allah attacked a bulk carrier in the Gulf of Aden, killing and wounding several crew members. Another vessel that Ansar Allah recently struck, the Rubymar, left an oil slick and has now sunk in the Red Sea along with her cargo.

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