Attacks on Yemen health facilities flout rules of war, says MSF

UN and MSF reports show civilian targets in Yemen, including medical facilities, are being attacked in contravention of international law. We speak to Canadian MSF nurse Céline Langlois back from the frontlines to tell us the challenges she faces on the job. ​
Resident coordinator of the United Nations in Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick (C), inspects damage at a hospital in Yemen's southwestern city of Taiz, Jan. 21, 2016. (Anees Mahyoub/Reuters)
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The war in the poorest country in the Middle East had escalated last March when a Saudi-led coalition launched airstrikes against the Houthi rebels.

On Wednesday, the Guardian newspaper reported that a United Nations expert panel documented 119 violations of international humanitarian law by that coalition. These are related to attacks on civilian targets, including medical facilities.

The UN panel also said that Houthi rebels are violating international laws by positioning themselves in residential areas.

A man carries his sister after she received treatment at a hospital in Yemen's southwestern city of Taiz, October 6, 2015. The girl was injured by sharpnel from a mortar shell blast during clashes between Houthis and fighters of the Popular Resistance Committees. (Reuters/Stringer)

Medical activities in Yemen have come under attack four times in less than three months according to Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF). On Jan.10, an MSF-supported hospital came under attack, killing six people and injuring at least seven — most of them medical staff and patients.

Montreal nurse Céline Langloisworked as a medical coordinator with MSF's emergency team in Yemen, from July to November 2015. She describes the conditions working on the frontlines in Yemen, and the impact the war has had on civilians.


This segment was produced by The Current's Karin Marley and Marc Apollonio.