Stressing he’ll continue to push for an extension of the ceasefire set to expire on August 2, the UN envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg has condemned Yemen’s Houthi rebels after they reportedly killed a 6 years old boy and wounded 11 other while shelling a residential area in Taez.
Yemen’s third largest city and the capital of the province of the same name, Taez has been under rebels- imposed blockade since 2016.
Noting that the residents of Taez have suffered immensely through seven years of war, Grundberg called particularly reprehensible the killing and injuring of children by Houthis that have rejected two UN proposals to end the blockade of the city.
Yemen’s Information Minister, Moammar Al Eryani, blamed the Iran-backed rebels for the attack, which happened on Saturday while the children were playing in an open area in the Zaid Al Moshki neighborhood of Taez.
The attack comes in light of UN efforts to extend the truce – the first nationwide truce in six years of the Yemen conflict- they brokered in April and extended for another two months in June.
The truce envisages the reopening of the roads around Taez and elsewhere in Yemen along with a ceasefire that has previously mostly held despite the accusations of violations on both sides.
Grundberg underlined that the aim of the truce is to ensure that all Yemenis experience protection and greater freedom of movement, reminding of the calm it brought in April to most parts of the country for the first time since 2014.
However, Taez residents say they had not benefited from the UN-brokered truce as the Houthis have not lifted the blockade or stopped targeting residential areas in the city.
After the Houthis overran Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, forcing the internationally recognized government to flee and creating one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, a Saudi-led coalition intervened in the war in March 2015 at the government’s request.