A Federal Foreign Office Spokesperson issued the following statement today (10 August) on the situation in Yemen, where, according to reports, a school bus was hit during an air strike in Saada province yesterday, killing many children:
The images we saw and the news we heard yesterday out of Yemen were horrific. The death of so many children and the sorrow that this has brought on their families are heartbreaking.
Far too often, civilians, including children, have been affected by the conflict in Yemen – they have been injured, killed or forced to live in suffering. We call on the parties to the conflict to fully respect the rules of international humanitarian law. Protecting civilians and civilian infrastructure must always be the top priority. Everything must be done to avoid civilian casualties.
Events such as this in Yemen, and all reports of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in the country, must be fully and independently investigated. The international Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen of the United Nations Human Rights Council has our full support.
The suffering of the people in Yemen, which is occurring on a massive scale, must be stopped. A way out of the conflict must be found. We fully support Martin Griffiths, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General to Yemen, as he works to convince the parties to the conflict to return to the negotiating table and resume the political process. We, too, will do everything in our power to help relaunch this process. We therefore call on the parties to the conflict to constructively engage in the consultations in Geneva that are scheduled for the beginning of September.
A political solution needs to be found for the conflict in Yemen. Unhindered access for humanitarian aid and helpers is needed right now, and the commercial movement of goods throughout the country must be restored immediately.”
Germany is providing substantial humanitarian assistance to Yemen. In 2017, the Federal Government made available some 165 million euros in aid. In 2018, the large scale effort to provide humanitarian aid will continue. Germany is one of the country’s key humanitarian donors. The Federal Foreign Office is coordinating Germany’s aid efforts.
The United Nations, as well as German and international aid organisations, are providing assistance in the country, in the form of emergency food aid, protective measures, drinking water, medication and health care. Access for humanitarian aid workers and imports of commercial goods are being increasingly restricted. Germany is continuously campaigning for unhindered access to everyone affected by the conflict, with the aim of getting supplies to the suffering population of Yemen.