Médecins Sans Frontières has released two reports into the bombing of an Médecins Sans Frontières hospital in Abs and the bombing of the Médecins Sans Frontières clinic in Al Houban, Taiz. The two attacks combined resulted in the death of 20 people, most of them patients, and wounded 32 others. In both attacks the GPS coordinates of the medical facilities had been shared with all parties to the conflict. The bombings hit fully functioning health facilities and the protected nature of the medical mission was not respected. Both reports conclude that the neutrality and impartiality of the facilities had not been compromised before the attacks and therefore there was no legitimate reason to attack them.
The release of the reports comes ahead of the UNSC meeting in New York tomorrow, where New Zealand will lead discussions on the recommendations on the implementation of Resolution 2286. The Resolution, unanimously adopted by the UNSC in May this year, was meant to reaffirm the protection of civilians and medical services in conflict. Yet to date the Resolution has amounted to empty rhetoric. As of September 2016, Médecins Sans Frontières had recorded that at least 21 of the medical structures it supports in Yemen and Syria had been bombed or shelled since the beginning of the year. Médecins Sans Frontières is calling for the protection and respect of the medical mission, and for all attacks on medical facilities, staff and emergency response teams to cease.