Thursday, November 12, 2015

WAR IS JUST TERRORISM ON A BIGGER BUDGET

When it is "our" allies committing war-crimes the UK and the US government turns a convenient blind eye.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in a statement said it is appalled by the continuing attacks on health care facilities in Yemen, the latest of which took place in the city of Taiz by the Saudi Arabian-led coalition.
 Al-Thawra hospital, one of the main health care facilities in Taiz which is providing treatment for about 50 injured people every day was reportedly shelled several times on Sunday. The shelling endangered the lives of patients and staff on site," said the deputy head of the ICRC delegation in Yemen, Kedir Awol Omar. “The neutrality of health care facilities and staff is not being respected. Health facilities are deliberately attacked and surgical and medical supplies are also being blocked from reaching hospitals in areas under siege."

The ICRC has been trying to deliver medical supplies to Taiz for nearly two months but to no avail.

"A large part of the population of Taiz is displaced within the city," said Karline Kleijer, MSF's emergency manager for Yemen. "They are battling for their survival on a daily basis, and fighting to get hold of sufficient food and water, due to the steep cost of basic necessities and the prevailing insecurity. The situation in Taiz is dramatic and will only get worse in the coming weeks if no efforts are made to spare civilians from the violence and allow them to access basic services, including health facilities."

Deliberate attacks on health facilities represent a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law (IHL). All those taking part in the fighting are, in accordance with IHL, obliged to protect medical facilities and personnel at all times. The US and UK -backed coalition has bombed nearly 100 hospitals throughout Yemen since March.

The USA and other states exporting weapons to any of the parties to the Yemen conflict have a responsibility to ensure that the arms transfers they authorize are not facilitating serious violations of international humanitarian law," said Donatella Rovera, Amnesty's senior crisis response adviser. "Lack of accountability has contributed to the worsening crisis and unless perpetrators believe they will be brought to justice for their crimes, civilians will continue to suffer the consequences. The world's indifference to the suffering of Yemeni civilians in this conflict is shocking."

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