Red Cross pulls out dozens of workers from Yemen over security threats

Red Cross pulls out dozens of workers from Yemen over security threats
Dozens of humanitarian Red Cross workers have been pulled out from Yemen as security concerns continue to rise in the war-torn country
2 min read
07 June, 2018
The Red Cross said that the security of their staff is non-negotiable [Getty]
Over 70 international humanitarian staffers in Yemen were pulled out of the country on Thursday, over rising security threats, the Red Cross said.

A statement released by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said that despite the desperate situation facing Yemenis, a breakdown in security means that humanitarian workers are no longer safe in the country.

"While the Yemen delegation has received numerous threats in the past, we cannot now accept additional risk less than two months after a gunman killed a staff member," referring to the murder of a Lebanese employee in the southern city of Taiz in April, the statement read.

"The security of our staff, who are being intimidated by parties to the conflict, is a non-negotiable prerequisite for our presence and work in Yemen."

The ICRC added that the decision will lead to the "crippling" of its life-saving work in the war-ravaged country.

"Our current activities have been blocked, threatened and directly targeted in recent weeks, and we see a vigorous attempt to instrumentalise our organisation as a pawn in the conflict," the statement added

Aid agencies had warned earlier this month that a planned offensive on the Yemeni port city of Hodeida would be disastrous for the country.

Hodieda has been a key target of the Gulf-backed Yemeni government, which has made its way slowly up the coast towards the rebel-held city.

Hodeida is one of the key entry points for aid to Yemen as Saudi Arabia leads an on-off blockade of the Houthi-held port.

Aid agencies have frequently warned that Yemen is on the brink of famine, while disease has spread through the country.

More than 10,000 people have been killed since a Saudi-led coalition entered the war in 2015 backing the Yemeni government, in is fight back against the Houthi rebels who seized control of much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.