On 19 June Maria Böhmer, Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office and acting Chair of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, issued the following statement on the latest terrorist attacks and the damage to UNESCO World Heritage sites in Yemen:
The Federal Government condemns the cowardly attack on three mosques in Sana’a. The precarious situation and the persisting power vacuum are providing further opportunities for terrorist groups. All stakeholders are therefore urgently called upon to play a constructive role in the ongoing UN mediation efforts and to put a stop to the violence.
The high number of civilian victims and the serious damage to several UNESCO World Heritage sites show how dramatic the situation in Yemen currently is. Yemen’s unique cultural heritage must not be used for political ballgames; it must be respected and protected by all sides.
On 17 June at least 31 people were killed and 60 injured in an attack on mosques mainly frequented by Huthis in Yemen’s capital Sana’a. The violence, which has been escalating since March 2015, has so far claimed more than 2500 lives and injured more than 11,000 people. In the course of the conflict parts of the UNESCO World Heritage sites in Sana’a, Zabid and the historic Marib Dam have been destroyed. The German Archaeological Institute excavation centre in Marib has also been damaged.