The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) [official website] said Tuesday that the civilian death toll in Yemen has reached nearly 2,800 [press release] over nine months of fighting. The UN reported that the number of civilian deaths rose sharply in December despite an agreed upon cease-fire by the warring parties. The conflict is responsible for 8,119 civilian casualties, including 2,795 dead and 5,324 wounded. The numbers stem in part from the use of illegal cluster munitions [JURIST report], which spread bomblets over a wide area, many of which do not immediately explode, allowing the bomblets to kill or maim civilians long after a conflict ends.
The rapidly deteriorating situation in Yemen has sparked significant international concern. Last month the UN World Food Programme appealed to all the parties involved in the Yemen conflict to allow the safe passage of food [JURIST report] to the city of Taiz where people have been going hungry for weeks. In October Amnesty International called for an independent investigation into possible war crimes surrounding the destruction of a hospital [JURIST report] run by Doctors Without Borders in Yemen. Also in October human rights organizations criticized the UN Human Rights Council for passing a resolution on Yemen that did not call for an independent international war crimes investigation [JURIST report].