Women Solidarity Network statement on the events of Hajour

Urgent appeal to save Hajour

At a time when Yemeni citizens became optimistic regarding the prospects of the peace agreement and the effort exerted by the international community to get Yemen out of the humanitarian crisis, we are witnessing a spreading and intensification of the conflict in the areas not covered by the Stockholm peace agreement. As the agreement eased from the intensity of the conflict in Hodeidah, Houthis re-oriented their military operations focusing on the elimination of their opposition, including the removal of opposing tribes in Hajjah province North of Yemen.

Houthis launched their attacks on the Hajour province of Hajjah after breaking a local peace agreement between them and the tribes. The Houthi group surrounded the Hajour area in the northern Yemeni province of Hajjah and put it under a tight siege for about two months, hindering the entry of humanitarian aid and cutting off water from Wadi Moore (the Valley of Moore) since mid-February.

The Hajja region has been hit by sporadic attacks by the Houthi group for nearly two years, but in the past few weeks, the Houthi group attacked the villages of Hajour in Hajjah viciously without remorse.

A number of war crimes have been observed, which increased last week. Various heavy and highly explosive weapons, including ballistic missiles, were used in the attacks that directly targeted civilians. Families were prevented from leaving, and all those trying to flee were targeted by snipers. For the displaced from the villages of «Bani Haddad and Shilila,» Katyusha rockets were fired north onto the province of Hajjah border killing eight civilians and injuring 27 including women and children on 26 January. Many displaced families sought refuge in nearby caves that were not livable. According to the IDP camp project management unit, there are 3,000 families displaced since the conflict escalated. Local and political leaders, along with women from their families, have been executed and their homes were blown up with cold blood.

Where the information center documented the destruction of 27 houses, including six by means of bombing and the execution of a woman named Hana Hussein al-Namsheh who resisted the Houthis after they killed her brother, the death toll reached 62 civilians and wounded 217 others, including women and children.

The coalition intervened with air strikes after a Houthi tank was positioned next to a house where civilians were used as human shields, killing civilians.

Such criminal activity will be the cause for the failure of any peace agreement as it undermines the confidence of the Yemenis to the parties to the conflict and the United Nations as well if it does not stand with the human suffering everywhere or strive to protect civilians.

We appeal to the international community, represented by the Human Rights Council, the Security Council and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, to immediately intervene to stop these mass massacres and systematic killings and to lift the siege on Hajjah and provide the victims with the necessary food and medicine, and to send a fact-finding mission to investigate the human rights violations and abuses.

Women Solidarity Network Monday, March 11, 2019

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