Yemenis mark anniversary of Saudi airstrike on Sa’ada school

Press TV – Yemeni children have rallied outside the UN building in the capital Sana’a, marking the first anniversary of the death of 10 children in a Saudi airstrike.  

As many as 28 others were also injured after the airstrike hit their school in Juma’at Bin Fadel Village in Sa’ada last August. Images flooded social media afterwards, showing rows of small bodies laid alongside one another.

The incident was corroborated by Doctors Without Borders but Riyadh claimed it had targeted a training camp used by Yemen’s Houthi fighters.

The Houthis have been defending Yemen against the Saudi invasion, launched in 2015 to restore former president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.

More than 12,000 people have been killed since the onset of the invasion and much of the country’s infrastructure has been ravaged in Saudi airstrikes.

The protesters on Sunday demanded an end to the airstrikes, and called for children’s rights to be respected.

This frame grab captured from footage provided by AFP shows Yemeni children protesting Saudi Arabia’s invasion of the country in front of the UN building in the capital Sana’a on August 13, 2017.

“We Yemeni children stand in front of the UN gate and demand our rights and the lifting of the siege on Yemen,” said young protester Mohamed Ali.

Yahya Saleh, another child protester, said, “The aggression killed my friend, destroyed my school, and displaced my family. We demand rights for children.”

Saudi Arabia has also subjected Yemen to an all-out blockade, claiming it would prevent alleged arms transfers to the Houthis.

Also on Sunday, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) deplored the humanitarian situation in Yemen, saying 15.7 million people there did not have access to potable water, and 14.8 could not avail themselves of simple medical services.

Thirty-thousand workers serving in the country’s medical and waste water management services have not received their wages in a year, seriously affecting their commitment to their duties, the body said.

OCHA said children and the elderly are bearing the brunt of the shortcomings, which have notably contributed to the exacerbation of a cholera spread. The outbreak has killed 1971 civilians, and afflicted 498,000 others since April.

Sixty-percent of Yemen’s population is at risk of malnutrition, it reported, adding seven million Yemenis, including two million children, are already severely malnourished.