Pro-Saudi Coalition Regrets Exit of Volunteer Doctors from Yemen

Written by NY Staff

Riyadh (Prensa Latina) The coalition led by Saudi Arabia against the rebels in Yemen have expressed regret for the withdrawal of the staff of Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) from six hospitals in the country, and said it hoped for urgent discussions to resolve the issue.

‘We very much regret the decision of MSF to evacuate its staff from six clinics in northern Yemen. We greatly value the work that MSF does for the people of Yemen under difficult circumstances,’ said a statement from the alliance, made up of a dozen Arab and Islamic nations.

The so-called Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen said in its statement that, ‘we are seeking urgent discussions with MSF to understand how we can work together to resolve this situation,’ which have been caused by recent air strikes against civilian facilities.

The humanitarian organization assists the Yemeni population who are the victims of a war, which has escalated in the last two weeks after Saudi Arabia and its allies attacked positions of Houthi rebels of the Ansar Allah group and the military loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The escalation of military actions followed the failure in early August of three months of negotiations between the rebels and the government of President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi in Kuwait, sponsored by the UN.

However, MSF exiting northern Yemen was due to the death of 19 people on Monday, after an air strike on a hospital supported by MSF in the province of Hajja, dominated by Shiite insurgents.

The organization, based in Paris, France, accused the coalition of ‘indiscriminate bombing’ and said it had lost confidence ‘in the capability of the alliance to prevent fatal attacks on their facilities.’

Monday’s bombing was the fourth and the deadliest against an installation run by the NGO since the kingdom began the military campaign in March 2015 against the Houthi rebels who ousted Hadiin.

According to the statement released on Friday by the official news agency SPA, the coalition ‘is committed to fully respecting international humanitarian law while conducting our operations in Yemen’.

In this regard, it announced it had established an ‘independent joint team of incident assessment’ to ‘investigate reports of civilian casualties as a result of the action of the coalition and recommend changes in our operations where problems have occurred’.

While the UN supports the reinstatement of Hadi as president, it has condemned the bombing of the Yemeni population, and international humanitarian groups have accused Riyadh of directly causing civilian casualties.

The kingdom, however, denies such allegations and argues that it uses ‘highly accurate’ munitions, guided by GPS and laser, and verifies its targets many times to avoid casualties among the population.

The coalition announced days ago that another team is undertaking an ‘independent investigation’ into an attack on a hospital and an air raid last Saturday against a school where MSF says 10 children died.