Human Rights Watch said today, Thursday, November 25, 2021, that civilians and displaced people in Marib have been caught in the crossfire for nearly two years, and some of them suffer severe deprivation.
In a statement, it added that the Houthi escalation led to the displacement of 93,000 civilians, all of whom fled their homes in search of safety in the city of Ma’rib in the north, which is already receiving two million displaced people.
The organization quoted Afrah Nasser, Yemen researcher at Human Rights Watch, as saying that the Houthis’ repeated indiscriminate attacks on civilians and the denial of humanitarian access have become a shameful pattern added to the group’s miserable human rights record.
“With winter approaching, the newly displaced desperately need an immediate and comprehensive response by aid agencies. The Houthi militias should immediately end their indiscriminate attacks and allow humanitarian aid to enter civilians across Ma’rib,” Nasser said.
The statement indicated that the Houthi militia fired artillery and ballistic missiles indiscriminately at populated areas in the Ma’rib Governorate in Yemen, which led to casualties among civilians, including women and children, and to a new wave of displacement since September. this area.
The organization quoted eyewitnesses as saying that the Houthi militia besieged 35,000 civilians in Abdiya for at least three weeks in October, preventing them from leaving or entering it, as well as food, oil, and other goods. The Association of Mothers of Abductees, which was established in 2017 by women with detained relatives who are often forcibly disappeared, said that the Houthi militia is holding 47 people, including children. Their relatives know nothing about them since their arrest.
She pointed out that October was the bloodiest in years in the governorate, with the death toll of 100 civilians, including children, killed or injured, and under international humanitarian law, indiscriminate attacks are those that are not directed at military objects, and use fighting methods that cannot be directed at civilian objects. Thus, it strikes military and civilian objects or civilian objects without discrimination.
It quoted an aid worker in the Yemeni government’s “Executive Unit for the Management of Displaced Persons Camps” as saying that thousands of families are still trapped in villages south of Ma’rib, as Houthi forces block roads, restrict transportation, and attack civilians who flee to the north.
He said that more than 90,000 people have been displaced, 93% of whom have not received shelter services, and 70% have not received food. He said that 96% do not have access to drinking or use water, and 98% do not have access to water tanks, bathrooms, or classrooms.
International relief agencies expressed their concern about the humanitarian situation in and around Marib, and said in a statement: “The humanitarian needs in the city of Marib far exceed the capabilities on the ground.
The city hosts overcrowded displacement camps, has overburdened public and health service systems, fragile infrastructure and an increasingly vulnerable host community.