Disappointment and concerns for a renewal of violence as Yemen's truce fails to be extended
SANA’A, 3 October – After achieving the longest period of relative peace since conflict erupted in Yemen in 2015, Yemen's warring parties failed to renew a UN-led peace agreement yesterday evening, and in doing so threaten to push the country into a new spiral of violence, says Save the Children.
During the six months of the truce, child casualties decreased by 34 per cent from 254 injuries and fatalities to 167, two-thirds of which were from landmines and unexploded ordinances.
The gains achieved over the past six months – including the significant drop in the number of civilian and child casualties, the reduction in displacement, and a considerable lift of restrictions on civilian travel and commercial imports –will all be jeopardized without serious efforts to resume a comprehensive dialogue that aims at reaching a peaceful resolution to the conflict, says the child rights agency.
The violent conflict in Yemen has caused hundreds of thousands of deaths since it started in March 2015, crippling infrastructure and pushing over 80 per cent of the population under the poverty line. Any renewal of violence will compound an already severe humanitarian situation and may further fuel the aggravation of human and child rights violations, which is especially concerning consider that since October last year there has been no international independent accountability mechanism in place.
Save the Children’s Deputy Country Director for Yemen, Ashfaq Ahmad, said:
“The past six months have allowed children to have a glimpse of what life could be like if there were no war; to go to school and play outside without fear of bombs falling from the sky, to have the ability to move back to their hometowns or even to travel abroad to meet relatives, study or seek medical care. It is utterly disappointing to watch the country falling off the path towards a peaceful end to the conflict.
“Looking back at the past six months, we are reminded of how far we have come and how much we have achieved, thanks to the serious efforts of peace negotiators on all side. However, it is appalling to imagine we could once again slip into the brutal war that has already devastated the entire population of Yemen and left its children with a lasting scare of fear and uncertainty.
“Children of Yemen have already paid the biggest price in this war and lost some of the most precious years of their lives. Their childhood was compromised, and their future still remains uncertain. Parties to the conflict owe Yemeni children a future that is free from violence and fear, and they must take do all that is in their power to ensure what happened throughout the past years is never repeated.”
“Now is time for the parties to the conflict to move the country forward on its path towards peace and prosperity. They have the power to alleviate the suffering of the millions exhausted children, men, and women, and finally bring this grim episode of their lives to an end and to allow hope to prevail.”
Save the Children has been working in Yemen since 1963, implementing programmes in education, child protection, health and nutrition, water and sanitation, and emergency response across most of the country.
Notes to Editors:
- The data analysis on casualty numbers was conducted by Save the Children Yemen Country Office between October 1, 2021, until September 27, 2022.
- The numbers of casualties (fatalities and injuries) are extracted from the Civilian Impact Monitoring Project under Yemen’s Protection Cluster (https://civilianimpactmonitoring.org/).
- Total Children Casualties in the six months prior to the truce, from October 1st till March 31st (Including airstrikes, shelling, small arms fire, landmines, UXOs, sniper, IEDs, light weapons, drones, naval shelling, and hand grenades): 254 (Fatalities: 83 / Injuries: 171).
- Total Children Casualties in the six months of the truce, from April 2nd till September 27th (Including airstrikes, shelling, small arms fire, landmines, UXOs, sniper, IEDs, light weapons, drones, naval shelling, and hand grenades): 167 (Fatalities: 36 / Injuries: 131).
- Total Children Casualties resulting from ERWs in the six months of the truce, from April 2nd till September 27th (Including ERWs): 111.
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