UN: Possible war crimes committed in Yemen

4th Sep 2019
UN: Possible war crimes committed in Yemen

By Fatih Hafiz Mehmet

 

(AA): Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Yemeni government and Houthis have violated international human rights laws in Yemen, the UN said on Tuesday.

A report by the Group of International and Regional Eminent Experts on Yemen, created by the UN Human Rights Council, released the details a host of possible war crimes committed by various parties to the conflict over the past five years.

The experts “found that the governments of Yemen and the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, as well as the Houthis and affiliated popular committees have enjoyed a ‘pervasive lack of accountability’ for violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.”

The report called for the immediate cessation of all acts of violence committed against civilians in violation of international human rights and international humanitarian law.

Also urging other states to refrain from providing arms that could be used in the conflict, the report reminded them of their obligation to take all reasonable measures to ensure respect for international humanitarian law by all parties to the conflict.

“Five years into the conflict, violations against Yemeni civilians continue unabated, with total disregard for the plight of the people and a lack of international action to hold parties to the conflict accountable,” Kamel Jendoubi, chairperson of the Group of Experts on Yemen, was quoted as saying in the statement.

“The international community must multiply its efforts to free the Yemeni people from the persistent injustice they have been enduring,” Jendoubi said.

He added that the “inhumane deprivation” of the Yemeni population of their rights to medicine, water and food should stop immediately.

“The very survival of the 24 million in need should be the first priority.”

The statement underlined that the experts found reasonable grounds to believe that the conduct of hostilities by the parties to the conflict, including by airstrikes and shelling, continued to have an extreme impact on civilians and many of these attacks may amount to serious violations of international humanitarian law.

The Group of Experts has identified, where possible, individuals who may be responsible for international crimes, and an updated confidential list of individuals has been submitted to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, according to the statement.

Yemen has remained wracked by violence since 2014, when the Iran-aligned Houthi group overran much of the country, including the capital Sana’a.

The conflict escalated the following year when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies launched a massive air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi gains in Yemen and supporting the country’s pro-Saudi government.

More than 70,000 people have been killed in the raging conflict since 2016, according to UN estimates.

[Photo: People inspect a destroyed prison bombed by Saudi led coalition in Dhamar, Yemen on September 01, 2019.
Photographer: Mohammed Hamoud/AA]

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