UN warns of escalating violence in Yemen

13th Feb 2018
UN warns of escalating violence in Yemen

By Fatih Erel

 

GENEVA (AA): The UN human rights chief on Monday warned about the escalating violence and the increasing civilian casualties in Yemen, where nearly 6,000 civilians have been killed in the three-year conflict.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said in a statement on Monday that the conflict in the city of Taizz in particular was “not just escalating but inescapable” for the civilians there.

“The upsurge in fighting in the south-western Governorate of Taizz is of particular concern. Civilians are under fire on all sides, as Houthi and affiliated forces carry out sniper attacks and indiscriminate shelling, and the Saudi-led Coalition continues to conduct airstrikes,” he said.

Twenty-seven people were killed and 76 injured in Yemen between Feb. 1 and 8, more than double the confirmed number of civilian casualties from the previous week, Hussein warned.

“The actual figures are likely to be higher. Most of the casualties were attributed almost equally to the warring parties — 48 to the Coalition, and 51 to the Houthi forces. Two were killed by drones, one by Al Qaeda, and in one case the perpetrator is unknown,” he added.

Since March 2015, 5,974 civilians have been killed and 9,493 civilians injured, the UN human rights office noted.

Yemeni Nobel Peace laureate Tawakkol Karman has called for an end to what she says is a military occupation of her country by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in an exclusive interview with the Reuters news agency.

An outspoken rights advocate and activist with Yemen’s Islah party, Karman won the prize in 2011 after camping out in a tent for months in pro-democracy protests that eventually forced Yemen’s longtime leader Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down.

A Saudi-led military coalition joined the Yemen conflict after Houthi rebels seized much of the country in late 2014 and eventually drove the government into exile in Saudi Arabia.

“The Saudi-Emirati occupation … betrayed the Yemenis and sold them out, exploiting the coup of the Houthi militia backed by Iran on the legitimate government, to exercise an ugly occupation and greater influence”, Karman told Reuters by phone in an interview from her base in Istanbul, Turkey.

Additional report from Reuters

[Archive Photo: Saudi-led bombing of vocational high school at Badan district of Ibb, Yemen on 14 August 2016. Photographer: Adel Alsharaee/AA]

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