Published: Wed, June 13, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Red Cross pulls 71 staff members out of war|torn Yemen

Red Cross pulls 71 staff members out of war|torn Yemen

A Red Cross spokeswoman said those withdrawn represented more than half of the ICRC's worldwide staff in Yemen, but the organisation still had 452 workers in the country, including Yemeni citizens.

"During the long study and calculation, we found that as many as 250 000 people lost everything they had - even my life".

The International Committee of the Red Cross says it has pulled 71 staff members out of Yemen after a series of incidents and threats in the war-torn country.

Those withdrawn from Yemen represent more than half of the ICRC's global staff in the country and one fifth of its total staff, spokeswoman Marie Claire Feghali told AFP.

"While the Yemen delegation has received numerous threats in the past, we can not now accept additional risk less than two months after a gunman killed a staff member. There is an overall degradation of the security in all the areas we operate in Sanaa, Saada, Taiz, Aden and Hodeida" provinces, she said.

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"The ICRC is calling on all parties to the conflict to provide it with concrete, solid and actionable guarantees so that it can continue working in Yemen". Government forces backed by the coalition, which intervened in the conflict at the government's request in March 2015, are poised to retake the key port city of Hodeidah from the rebels.

The UN and aid agencies have warned against an offensive on the port, which could plunge Yemen into starvation.

An ICRC employee, a Lebanese national, was killed on April 21 by an unknown gunmen who opened fire on his auto in the southwestern Yemeni city of Taiz as he was on his way to visit a prison, it said at the time.

Previous efforts to end the conflict, which according to the United Nations has killed more than 10,000 people, have failed. With more than 3 million people displaced by war, and with the economy besieged and in ruins, the United Nations says the risk of starvation could imperil 22 million people - about three-quarters of the population.

The deal also says that Saudi and UAE armed forces would also halt their bombing of Yemeni towns and cities, which has killed thousands of civilians.

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