MSF leave Northern Yemen after Hospital strikes continue

THOMAS PITTS

In the past 12 months Yemen’s ongoing conflict has seen thousands killed and more disturbingly, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) hospitals continually struck by coalition aerial bombardment.

On August 15th 2016 the bloodiest attack on a hospital in the history of MSF occurred finally prompted definitive action from MSF on their role in there region.

The August attack saw 19 people killed and 24 injured in the fourth hospital bombing this year, causing MSF, the international doctors without boarders organisation, to announce and plan its exit from Northern Yemen as the aerial bombings have devastated medical facilities for the past 12 months.

Following the attack, MSF has given up its operations in the region all together as they no longer can continue to operate under such horrific circumstances even after numerous meetings with Coalition officials.

“Aerial bombings have, however, continued, despite the fact that MSF has systematically shared the GPS coordinates of hospitals in which we work with the parties involved in the conflict,” a MSF media representative said.

Numerous meetings have occurred with Saudi Coalition officials but MSF maintain that all attempts at curbing the violence in key regions to their operations have failed.

“Over the last eight months, MSF has met with high-ranking Saudi-led coalition officials on two occasions in Riyadh to secure humanitarian and medical assistance for Yeminis, as well as to seek assurances that attacks on hospitals would end,” a MSF media representative said.

MSF believe that the Saudi Coalition has failed as they are not able to ensure their safety in the region.

“Coalition officials repeatedly state that they honour international humanitarian law, yet this attack shows a failure to control the use of force and to avoid attacks on hospitals full of patients. MSF is neither satisfied nor reassured by the Saudi-led coalition’s statement that this attack was a mistake,” a MSF media representative said.

MSF will pull out of the Northern Regions of Yemen, leaving a significant gap in the care provided for all individuals involved in the conflict in the region.

“But all over Yemen, both medical staff and patients live with the uneasy knowledge that they are living through a war which makes little distinction between civilian and military targets,” said a MFS media representative.

Médecins Sans Frontières is the world’s leading medical humanitarian aid agency, with over 30,000 field staff providing care in crises all over the world.

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