Yemen civil war death toll shoots past 70,000

Data on Yemen’s civil war collected between the start of 2016 and mid-April this year shows 70,200 deaths, according to international political conflict monitor ACLED (Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project).
Charred cars are scattered on a street after recent heavy clashes between pro-government militias in Yemen's southern city of Taez on Monday.(AFP)
Charred cars are scattered on a street after recent heavy clashes between pro-government militias in Yemen's southern city of Taez on Monday.(AFP)
Updated on Apr 29, 2019 10:33 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByNadim Siraj

The number of deaths caused by the conflict and turmoil in Yemen has soared past the 70,000-figure mark, according to a new report.

Data on the disturbed West Asian country’s civil war collected between the start of 2016 and mid-April this year shows 70,200 deaths, according to international political conflict monitor ACLED (Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project).

The revelation is disturbing given that up until now, it has largely been reported across the press as well as by the UN that the death toll in Yemen has ranged between 8,000 and 14,000.

The ACLED report also says 10,000 people have died in the country in just the last five months, while the death toll this year stands at a staggering 7,600 at least.

The report from ACLED, which maps conflicts on a real-time basis, has observed that fatality rates in Yemen have shifted across areas over the past two years.

“Reported fatalities increased most dramatically in (the regions of) Al Jawf and Hajjah, along with Taiz, Sadah and Ad Dali,” the report says. “They dropped most significantly in Hodeidah and also in Marib, Sanaa and Al Bayda.”

The report makes an interesting observation over civilian deaths in Yemen, saying the Saudi-led coalition and its allies are responsible for the highest number of reported civilian fatalities in the country from direct targeting, accounting for more than 4,800 since 2016.

In contrast, the Houthi rebels and their allies are responsible for over 1,300 reported civilian fatalities from direct targeting. It means the Saudi-led forces have killed nearly four times more civilians in Yemen than the Houthi bloc has done. Nearly 380 civilian fatalities have been reported this year resulting from direct targeting, the ACLED report says.

The war began in 2015 as a power struggle between the internationally recognised government headed by Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and leaders of the Houthi movement, also known as Ansar Allah.

Both factions claim to form the national government. Hadi and his allies are currently based in the city of Aden, while the opponent camp, the Houthis and their forces, are in control of the capital city of Sanaa.

The ACLED report comes two days after the UNDP released a report, Assessing the Impact of War on Development in Yemen, in which it said the conflict has “reversed human development” in the country by 21 years.

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