Alwaght- A UN agency has condemned last Thursday’s attack off the coast of Yemen that left dozens of Somalis dead, with Saudi-led coalition being blamed for the carnage.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi issued a statement on Monday saying, “Over forty lives have been lost in this unwarranted attack on helpless civilians fleeing violence and conflict. Many questions remain unanswered on the circumstances of this horrific event. We call on all parties to the conflict to make proper inquiries to ensure accountability and to prevent this from happening again.”
While the circumstances surrounding Thursday’s attack are still unclear, according to international law, civilians must not be attacked and warring parties must do everything possible to protect civilians.
“Civilians are disproportionately bearing the consequences of the conflict and the humanitarian crisis in Yemen,” said Grandi. “More than ever, peace is urgently needed in Yemen. “Only a peaceful political solution can put an end to the current suffering and misery.”
Meanwhile, Somalia has blamed the Saudi-led coalition for the attack on a boat off Yemen’s west coast, near Al Hudaydah that killed at least 42 Somali refugees.
The attack, by a military vessel and a helicopter gunship, was condemned by the Mogadishu Government, which for a probe of the incident.
“What happened there was a horrific and terrible problem inflicted on innocent Somali people. The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen is responsible for it,” Somalia's foreign minister, Abdisalam Omer, said on state-run radio.
Almost two years into the Saudi war on Yemen, over 12,000 people, mostly civilians including women and people have been killed.
UNHCR says of the three million Yemenis displaced by the conflict, one million have returned to their homes under precarious conditions and two million remain displaced. The country is also hosting almost 280,000 registered refugees and asylum seekers, mostly from Somalia. Last year, more than 117,000 refugees and migrants arrived in Yemen.