Saturday 23 February 2019

Shelling on displaced people camp kills eight in Yemen: UN

The motorcade of United Nations special envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths following his arrival at Sanaa International airport on his third trip to Yemen this month. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
The motorcade of United Nations special envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths following his arrival at Sanaa International airport on his third trip to Yemen this month. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Cora Alvera in New York

The United Nations said shelling of a camp for displaced people in northern Yemen killed eight civilians and wounded 30 others, as the UN envoy arrived yesterday in the capital Sanaa for ceasefire talks with Houthi rebels.

The UN said the attack occurred on Saturday in the northern province of Hajjah, where tens of civilians have been killed and hundreds of families displaced in the past two months. The UN said an attack earlier in January near the same camp killed six children and two women.

Lise Grande, the UN humanitarian co-ordinator for Yemen, said in a statement late on Sunday that the shelling was a "senseless attack".

"The people who have fled their homes... have lost so much already. An attack like this cannot be justified - ever," she said. Ms Grande didn't identify the source of the shelling, which took place in the province's Haradh district. No one has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.

UN envoy Martin Griffiths, meanwhile, arrived in Sanaa on an unannounced visit to discuss the situation in and around the coastal city of Hodeida, where Yemen's warring parties agreed to a ceasefire last month. The two sides also agreed to a prisoner exchange last month that has yet to take place.

Mr Griffiths said there is a political will now more than ever to end the conflict in Yemen. "We are all on the same page that the way to do this is through the negotiations table, and not the battlefield," he said in an exclusive interview with the pro-Saudi 'Asharq al-Awsat' newspaper.

He said he expected the frameworks struck during UN-hosted peace talks in Sweden in December will likely be extended, as the situation on the ground is more complex.

Irish Independent

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