Red Cross calls for ceasefire in war-torn Yemen

By Jessica Ganga
Nation & World Editor  

The Red Cross called for an immediate ceasefire in Yemen on Saturday, April 4, saying that many more people have been wounded in recent airstrikes in the war-torn country. The call came just after the United Nations Security Council met last Saturday, March 28, to discuss the situation in the country, according to CNN.

People search for survivors in Sana'a after an airstrike (AP Photo).
People search for survivors in Sana’a after an airstrike (AP Photo).

Arab forces and fighters loyal to the displaced Sunni President, Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, have been fighting against Shiite rebels, the Houthis, who forced the president out of power back in January, CNN reported.

According to BBC, at least 185 people have been killed and 1,282 injured since Thursday, March 26, in Aden, the country’s second city. The U.N.has reported that 500 people have been killed in the past two weeks.

The devastation in the city caused the Red Cross to make the call, saying that food, water, medical equipment and personnel needed to get into the devastated areas.

“Otherwise, put starkly, many more people will die,” said Robert Mardini, the ICRC’s head of operations in the Near and Middle East. “For the wounded, their chances of survival depend on action within hours, not days.”

Another official of the Red Cross told CNN that people were running out of food, water and fuel in the capital, Sana’a.

“Medical supplies need to be here yesterday. The situation is difficult,” said Marie-Claire Feghali, a spokeswoman for the ICRC. “We need to save lives that can be saved.”

The residents of Sana’a have witnessed the fiercest and strongest strikes since the air assault began, according to CNN.

Russia has also gotten involved, demanding a so-called “humanitarian pause,” according to ABC News. On Saturday, April 4, the country urged the U.N. Security Council to stop airstrikes by the Saudi-led military coalition. The country proposed that foreigners in the country should be evacuated immediately and aid should be delivered to the citizens.

According to CNN, the meeting adjourned with no decision announced and that one diplomat said that the draft “was missing what the envoy called key elements.”

Saudi Arabia got involved with the conflict after Hadi fled to the country from Aden in late March, according to CNN. The predominantly Sunni nation and other Arab nations began targeting the rebels in Yemen.

A Saudi source told CNN that special forces supplied the Yemeni fighters with weapons and communication equipment.

According to BBC, Yemeni and Saudi forces forced Houthi rebels out of Aden this week, but the fighting still continues.