Press release

UK government response to loss of life in Yemen in August 2018

The UK government has expressed concern at recent loss of life in Yemen.

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A UK government spokesperson said:

The government expresses serious concern at the tragic loss of life in Yemen over the last month. In the first two weeks of August alone, over 400 Yemenis lost their lives, including young children, and many more continue to face egregious violations of their basic human rights.

We are also deeply concerned by the tragic incidents of 2 August, 9 August, and 23 August in which so many Yemenis were killed. We offer our sincerest condolences to the families of the victims.

We welcome the speed of the investigation into the incident of 9 August, and the Coalition’s announcement of regret and action to address the recommendations of that investigation. We are reviewing the investigation’s conclusions.

We welcome the Coalition’s announcement of an investigation into the incident of 23 August and encourage the publication of the outcomes of this investigation as soon as possible. We also call for clarification of the circumstances around the incident of 2 August.

The government condemns the attacks against Red Sea shipping, and regular missile attacks against Saudi Arabia which have been launched by the Houthis with Iranian support. These attacks have targeted residential areas and shown no regard for civilian life. Coalition countries have a legitimate right to defend their own territory.

The UK urges all parties to the conflict to do everything possible to protect innocent civilians and to demonstrate their commitment to International Humanitarian Law.

This conflict began following a seizure of power in some parts of Yemen by the Houthis, forcing out the legitimate government from these areas. The urgency now is for everyone to enable and support the UN-sponsored political process beginning with talks in Geneva on 6 September.

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Published 2 September 2018