The U.N. on Friday has said that over 5,000 civilians have been killed in the conflict in Yemen since 2015, adding the toll was likely twice that. U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) spokesman Rupert Colville revealed these numbers in a news conference in Geneva on Friday.
"Since March 2015, OHCHR has documented 13,609 civilian casualties, including 5,021 killed and 8,588 injured. These numbers are based on the casualties individually verified by the U.N. human rights office in Yemen," Colville said.
"The overall number is probably much higher, with some estimates suggesting a total of more than 11,000 civilians have been killed since the beginning of the conflict," Colville said.
Colville told Anadolu Agency that of the 5,021 civilian deaths, 3,165 civilians had been killed by Saudi-led Arab coalition, 1,192 civilians were killed by Houthi rebels, 193 civilians were killed by Daesh and 86 civilians were killed by al-Qaeda. He told Anadolu Agency that 1,140 children had also been killed in the conflict since 2015. He also said that that a deadly airstrike on a small village in the Taiz Governorate in Yemen on Tuesday killed at least 18 civilians, including 10 children and two women.
In addition, World Health Organization (WHO) spokeswoman Fadela Chaib told reporters on Friday that 368,207 suspected cholera cases and 1,828 deaths had been reported in Yemen from April 27 to July 19.
"Yemen faces the world's largest cholera outbreak. Every day we have 5,000 more Yemenis falling sick with symptoms of acute diarrhea or cholera," Chaib said.
Children under 15 account for 41 percent of all suspected cases and people aged over 60 account for a third of cholera deaths, Chaib said.
"We expect many thousands more cases before the outbreak ends," she added. "We are not making any projection."
Impoverished Yemen has remained in a state of civil war since 2014, when Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including Sanaa. In 2015, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched a massive air campaign aimed at reversing Houthi military gains and shoring up Yemen's embattled government.
Years of conflict have left Yemen with a growing cholera outbreak. An international aid organization is warning that Yemen's cholera epidemic, the world's worst since Haiti's 2010 outbreak, is likely to worsen in the rainy season.
The U.K.-based OXFAM group said Friday cholera in Yemen is now "the largest ever recorded in any country in a single year." The World Health Organization reported on Thursday nearly 370,000 suspected cases of cholera and over 1,800 deaths since April 27. The group warned that Yemen's rainy season from July to September will accelerate the outbreak.
The conflict has intensified in the past two years, and the latest outbreak of the cholera at the end of April led to the declaration of a state of emergency in Sana'a, which is held by anti-government fighters. So far, 20 out of Yemen's 22 provinces have been hit by the outbreak. With a shattered healthcare system, Yemen is not able to cope with a major cholera outbreak that is now killing more people than the country's ongoing war.