The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has pulled 71 staff members out of Yemen, crippling its humanitarian activities due to a series of incidents and threats.
The Red Cross which has been in Yemen since 1962, called on all parties to the conflict in Yemen to provide security guaranties to its staff so it can continue its activities such as surgical services, visits to detainees, clean water initiatives and food assistance activities.
In a statement published on its website on Thursday, the Red Cross said “we are now seeing dangerous trends. Our current activities have been blocked, threatened and directly targeted in recent weeks, and we see a vigorous attempt to instrumentalize our organization as a pawn in the conflict.”
It added: “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. 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 and an absolute priority.”
A spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross said that there are 450 staff in Yemen.
The Red Cross was under a lot of intimidations in the past from the Houthi militias, which forced the International Committee to inform the Houthis of their intentions to close their headquarter in al-Houban.
The Houthis have threatened the Red Cross employees with murder if they carry out their decision.
The Red Cross called on all parties to the conflict to provide it with concrete, solid and actionable guarantees so that it can continue working in Yemen, hoping to continue preventing and alleviating the suffering of people caught in the conflict, as sthe statement read.