‘Threat to civilian lives rising’: UN’s Yemen envoy decries Saudi escalation

The United Nations special envoy for Yemen has strongly condemned Saudi Arabia’s military escalation against various targets across the impoverished country, including the capital Sana’a.

Speaking through a statement on Tuesday, the official, Hans Grundberg, warned that violations of the international humanitarian and human rights law in Yemen could not continue with impunity.

“The escalation in recent weeks is among the worst we have seen in Yemen for years and the threat to civilian lives is increasing,” he said.

“Airstrikes on Sana’a have resulted in loss of civilian lives, and damaged civilian infrastructure and residential areas,” noted the official.

A Saudi-led military coalition that has been attacking Yemen since 2015 to change the country’s power structure, has been attacking Sana’a on an almost daily basis over the past months.

Grundberg also addressed “the continued offensive on Ma’rib and the continued missile attacks on the governorate,” saying the escalation was “also resulting in civilian casualties, damage to civilian objects, and mass displacement.”

The coalition has also ramped up its attacks on the strategic west-central province in order to prevent its pending liberation by Yemen’s defense forces.

“2021 is ending on a tragic note for Yemenis, millions of whom are struggling with poverty, hunger, and severe restrictions on their freedom of movement,” Grundberg said.

Last month, a United Nations Development Program report said the war was on course to claim 377,000 lives by the end of the year through both direct and indirect impacts.

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