Médecins Sans Frontières hit by Saudi Coalition in Yemen

In Human Rights, World Health by Dusty Croghan

27 October 2015 – The United Nations today condemned airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition that hit the Hayadeen Medical Hospital in the Sa’dah governorate.  The hospital is run by Médecins Sans Frontières with support from the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The United Nations called for “a prompt, effective and impartial investigation in order to ensure accountability” and urged all parties in the Yemen conflict to immediately cease all operations, including airstrikes.

The Saudi-led coalition battling Yemen’s Houthi rebel movement includes Israel and the U.S. and immediately denied that it had bombed the hospital.

Since March when the coalition air campaign began, Yemen has seen more than 5,600 people dead, including 2,615 civilians. the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) stated about two-thirds of the civilian deaths were caused by coalition air strikes, and the rest by the rebels and their allies.

The hospital served 200,000 people, received 150 emergency cases a week, and was the only life-saving facility in the region . “It could be a mistake, but the fact of the matter is it’s a war crime,” MSF country director Hassan Boucenine told the Reuters news agency. “There’s no reason to target a hospital. We provided the coalition with all of our GPS co-ordinates about two weeks ago,” he added.

On 3 October, the U.S. bombed a hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz, killing at least 30 people.   The U.S. stated the hospital was mistakenly bombed – President Barack Obama has apologized.  Médecins Sans Frontières has demanded an independent international investigation into the bombing, and has been adamant that the bombing was a war crime.