A three-year-old boy was killed and eleven children were injured last night when a shell hit the street where they were playing in Taiz.
The three-year-old was treated in hospital for multiple lacerations to his legs and stomach, but sadly died yesterday due to the extent of his injuries. Another seven-year-old is still in critical condition, while five other children are still under medical observation. Most of them were hit by shrapnel in the head, neck, chest, stomach and legs.
Tamim *, the father of a child injured in the attack, shared his concerns with Save the Children, the organization that has been fighting for over 100 years to save girls and boys at risk and guarantee them a future: “It’s completely shameful. Our neighborhood is relatively safe and has never been bombed before. My children play here every day in the afternoon and we thought they were safe, especially now during the ceasefire. There seems to be no safe place for children in this country.” .
This attack comes as the four-month ceasefire reaches its final week with no news of the renewal of the ceasefire agreement. The number of child victims of the conflict has decreased significantly since the beginning of the ceasefire, but in the last two months there has been an increase, with 29 and 32 victims in July and June, respectively, compared to 10 and 19 in April and May.
“Attacking children is a horrific crime and should not be tolerated. Those responsible for this unforgivable violation must be held accountable. Yemen’s children have already experienced seven years of brutality and deserve to live in peace and be protected from violence.” Rama Hansraj, Save the Children Yemen director.
“Four months after the ceasefire, when children began to develop a sense of security – he added – they were bombed and killed. A three-year-old boy was killed, another just seven years old is still in intensive care for fighting for Another four-year-old has lost parts of his face, a nine-year-old has splinters in the neck, and a two-year-old may be disabled for the rest of his life from his injuries. No child should have to deal with such cruelty is unacceptable”.
Save the Children calls on the parties to the conflict to respect international humanitarian law and international human rights law. The parties to the conflict must protect children and their families from the horror of ongoing violence, avoid the use of explosive weapons in densely populated areas, take practical and immediate measures to reduce the impact on homes, schools, hospitals and vital civilian infrastructure. It is also crucial that an extension of the ceasefire is agreed upon and that everyone joins the ceasefire in order to create a safe environment for children and their families.
We specifically ask the Italian government to support the monitoring and accountability bodies for the violations of children’s rights in Yemen.
Save the Children responded to the incident by providing the necessary psychosocial support to the affected children and their families, supporting them to strengthen their resilience and shortening the time it takes to recover.
Save the children has been working in Yemen since 1963 with education, protection, health and nutrition programmes, water and sanitation supplies and emergency interventions in large parts of the country.
* The name has been changed to protect the identity of the interviewee.
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Adapted from: redbørnene.it