Red Cross concerned about abandoned bodies in Yemen

Red Cross concerned about abandoned bodies in Yemen
# 18 August 2015 20:15 (UTC +04:00)

The Swiss-based organization said “international humanitarian law” requires the dead bodies that are being abandoned in the war zones be “treated properly and with respect.”

"With the escalation of the fighting, more casualties are being left behind owing to the increased danger associated with retrieving the wounded and the dead," said Nourane Houas, head of the ICRC Protection Department in Yemen on Tuesday.

Houas urged all sides in the conflict “to respect the dignity of the dead” and “allow their proper identification and their handover to the families.”

"Failure to identify the dead puts them in the ranks of the missing, and prevents the families from mourning," Houas said.

The ICRC said it has helped retrieve more than 400 dead bodies since March. The World Health Organization, however, says the death toll from the conflict from March to August 5 stands at a figure of over is 4,340 people.

Local sources say the the fatality figure from the Saudi airstrikes is much higher.

According to the United Nations figures, half of those killed are civilians.

The UN says 80 percent of Yemen's 21 million population are in need of humanitarian aid.

Saudi Arabia began its devastating military aggression against its impoverished southern neighbor on March 26 - without a UN mandate.

The airstrikes have been meant to undermine Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement and restore power to the fugitive former Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, who is a staunch Saudi ally. As well as the foreign aggression, the Ansarullah fighters and allied forces are also battling a domestic militancy.