August 16th, 2016 10:28 EST
Yemen: Ban Condemns Coalition Airstrike on Hospital that Killed 11 People
Reiterating his call on all warring parties in Yemen to immediately implement the cessation of hostilities, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the reported coalition airstrike yesterday on a hospital in the rural town of Hajjah that killed 11 people.
The media has reported that more than 19 people were also wounded when an airstrike hit a hospital supported by the Paris-based MÃ©decins Sans FrontiÃ¨res (MSF), or Doctors Without Borders, in the rebel-held town.
According to a statement issued by Mr. Ban`s spokesperson, the Secretary-General notes that the parties to the Yemeni conflict have damaged or destroyed over 70 health centres to date, including three other MSF-supported facilities, and he is deeply disturbed " by the intensification of airstrikes and continuing ground fighting and shelling, especially in populated areas.
The UN chief also stressed that the shrinking humanitarian space and limited access to essential services for Yemenis, a situation exacerbated by the return to full-scale hostilities, is a matter of ever greater concern, the statement said.
The statement further notes that hospitals and medical personnel are explicitly protected under international humanitarian law and any attack directed against them, or against any civilian persons or infrastructure, is a serious violation of international humanitarian law. All such attacks should be investigated through prompt, effective, independent and impartial.
The Secretary-General also reiterated his call on the parties to renew their engagement " without delay and in good faith - with his Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, in pursuit of a negotiated solution, the statement added.
Following nearly 16 months of conflict in Yemen, the cessation of hostilities was declared on 10 April. While peace talks between a Yemeni Government delegation and a delegation of the General People`s Congress and Ansar Allah have since continued, serious violations have occurred in Marib, al Jawf, Taiz and in the border areas with Saudi Arabia.
On 6 August, the UN special envoy announced a one-month break for the talks, during which the focus will be on working with each side separately to crystalize precise technical details. "
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