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In General Statements,News,Statements

Statement on the Tragic Situation of Civilians in the Villages of Al-Haima – Taiz

Since weeks, Houthis militia imposes a suffocating siege on the villages of Al-Haima villages in Taiz governorate, where ten of families were displaced due to the indiscriminate shelling and intensified siege, and denial of access to humanitarian aids. Al-Haima, is facing a catastrophic humanitarian situation impacted by lack of foods, shelter and life-sustaining medical appliances.

Taiz governorate also is under three-years siege, while Al-Haima is the siege and heavy shelling since 19 December 2017, that targeted houses, health and education institutions in the region, in addition to snipers who killed more than 18 civilians and injured others according to reports and statements received by SAM.

Tawfeq Al-Humeidi, SAM Monitoring and Documentation Officer said: “Houthis militia practices of indiscriminate shelling on residents and targeting of public and private objects in Al-Haima, is a full-fledged war crime penalized by the international law”.

The region has experienced mass displacement and forced eviction of 350 families, mainly women, children and aged people, since the beginning of Houthis campaign against Al-Shaqab, Al-Akama, Al-Akad, Dar Al-Galal and Al-Hajar villages. The IDPs suffer a serious condition, while Houthis denied access to humanitarian aids provided by the humanitarian organizations to the villages.

Houthis militia also planted mines in the mountains and public roads in the area, to prevent citizens movements. Houthis turned down trucks loaded with foods, in flagrant violation of the international humanitarian law and four Geneva Conventions.

One of the displaced from Alhumaima village, said to SAM monitors, on anonymity condition “on Thursday, 28 December 2017, at 8 p.m. I left the village due to the shelling by Houthis group who were deployed in Akad mountain, leading to the displacement of 500 people to neighbouring villages.

Witnesses confirmed to SAM that Houthis infiltrated the Sharaf village in Al-Haima Al-0lya, and detonated Sheikh Saeed Al-Hurebi’s, three-story house who fled his house, and clashes followed. Houthis positioned in the surrounding mountains and shelled the villages, forcing villagers to leave their houses. Also, indicated that Houthis snipers directly shot and killed three children in the village.

Houthis had stormed Al-Haima villages on Wednesday, 27 December 2017, and detonated Al-Hadali village’s mosque and another civilian house. “Souq” Afshal market, in the same area was subjected to airstrike by the Arab Coalition on Tuesday, 26 December 2017, apparently targeting a nearby Houthis’ military checkpoint, another strike hit the market next morning while the villagers are gathering to see yesterday’s attack, killing 33 people and injuring 26 others, mainly civilians.

SAM monitors interviewed an eyewitness on the incident, who said “I was at home, when the airstrike hit the market at 8:30 a.m., I saw civilians’ victims”, “I helped in rescuing them and some were moved to MSF hospital in Al-Qaeda, and others to Al-Rifa’i hospital in Al-Houban”, he added.

The number of victims has reached 60 people according to eyewitnesses, where in Wadi Areq 13 were killed, including 6 children, and 5 injured.

Testimonies received by SAM has confirmed that no Houthis militia or vehicles were in the market when attacked by the AC airstrike, and the nearest Houthis checkpoint is about 1 km. far.

Al-Humeidi indicted that the Saudi-led AC is not concerned about the victims in Yemen, and the world silence is contributing to AC failure to observe war laws that calls for saving civilians, especially women and children, from disastrous consequences of the airstrikes.

SAM would like to express its deep concern for the tragic situation in Taiz governorate, including food insecurity, and deteriorating health situation that would exacerbate the humanitarian situation in the city.

SAM also would like to remind conflicting parties with the international humanitarian law that bans attacks on civilian’s objects, indiscriminate shelling and bombing on civilians, and urges them to allow access of humanitarian aids to the disastrous and besieged areas.

Also. Calls on the international community to pressure conflicting parties to end the violations and abuses against civilians and penalize perpetrators.

SAM Organization also call upon the UN system to deliver humanitarian aids to the impacted areas immediately, noting the unfavourable weather conditions that affect the IDPs.

SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties,

8 January 2018