June 13, 2018 / 6:56 AM / 2 months ago

U.N., Red Cross call for protecting civilians after coalition attack on Yemen port

GENEVA, June 13 (Reuters) - The United Nations and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) called on Wednesday for all sides in Yemen’s war to protect civilians after the Saudi-led coalition launched an air and ground assault on the vital Red Sea port city of Hodeidah.

“Under international humanitarian law, parties to the conflict have to do everything possible to protect civilians and ensure they have access to the assistance they need to survive,” Lise Grande, U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, told Reuters by email.

In Geneva, ICRC spokeswoman Marie-Claire Feghali said that the assault was “likely to exacerbate an already catastrophic humanitarian situation in Yemen”, where water and electricity networks are vital to the civilian population’s survival. (Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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