Christoph Strässer, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement on 8 July on the dramatic situation in Yemen:
I am appalled by the high number of civilians killed in Yemen. In the past few days alone dozens of people have lost their lives and more than 80 have been injured in attacks on two markets. This has brought the total number of people killed since the start of the air strikes on 26 March to over 3000.
I support UN special envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed in his efforts to reach an agreement on a humanitarian ceasefire. The conflict must not be waged at the expense of the people, who are suffering enough already. Protection of human life must be the top priority. I appeal to the coalition and to all other conflict parties to protect civilians, respect the principle of proportionality and comply with international humanitarian law.
Since 26 March 2015 a coalition led by Saudi Arabia has been carrying out air strikes on positions held by Houthi rebels in Yemen. The attacks are in response to the advance of the Houthi rebels in the country, which has already claimed a high number of civilian lives. According to United Nations figures, the current conflict had resulted in 3261 lives lost and 15,811 people injured to date. This week the United Nations described the humanitarian situation in Yemen as currently one of the largest humanitarian crises worldwide.