UN Urges Yemen Ceasefire, Says 233,000 Killed in Six-Year War

Most deaths were from lack of food, medicine

Six years into the Saudi-led invasion of Yemen, the UN is reporting that 233,000 people have been killed, calling this unacceptable and demanding both sides work on an immediate ceasefire to the conflict.

Though a lot of people have been killed directly in the war, UN figures show the majority of the deaths were from “indirect causes,” which is to say lack of food and medicine, diseases and lack of other general infrastructure.

That’s not a surprise. The UN’s own tracking of food insecurity shows the country going from bad to worse, and the absolute worst part, the populous northwest, is simply “not analysed” because things are so bad they can’t really function.

Beyond the starvation and malnutrition, war-torn Yemen has also been the site of cholera epidemics, and medical shortages so extreme and so long that some chronic illnesses, like diabetes, likely killed the bulk of those inflicted simply from going untreated too long. No one is really healthy in Yemen, there’s not food and medicine for that, but the really sick probably already died from lack of treatment.

On top of that, Saudi airstrikes have killed large numbers of people, mainly civilians, and those strikes have fueled an international outcry. This has led to questions about selling the Saudis so many bombs, though so far the US and Britain have kept the sales going.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.