Fresh war crimes fears highlighted in new Yemen report

A young man walks across the desert wasteland near al Khocha district on Yemen’s western coast, near the frontline. A young man walks across the desert wasteland near al Khocha district on Yemen’s western coast, near the frontline. 2019 European Union/Peter Biro

09 September 2020

For the third year running, experts determine that serious violations of human rights have been, and are being, committed in Yemen

A recent statement issued by the Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts on Yemen (GEE) – mandated by the Human Rights Council to monitor and report on the human rights situation in the country – has called out the collective failures of the international community and all parties involved in the ongoing conflict which has been ravaging the country and its people for over six unrelenting years.

The hostilities began in late 2014 when Houthi-supporting rebels gradually took over the capital Sana’a, forcing the President of Yemen to flee abroad in March 2015. In response, Saudi Arabia formed a coalition with most Gulf Cooperation Council states, Egypt and Sudan, and backed by the United States and the United Kingdom, to restore Yemen’s internationally recognised government.

According to the latest report released by the GEE, the series of airstrikes conducted by the coalition between June 2019 and June this year “appear to have been undertaken without proper regard to principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution to protect civilians and civilian objects”. The report, which also investigated the effects of the landmines unlawfully planted by the Houthis, concluded that indiscriminate attacks were being carried out by the coalition and the Houthis, with civilians and vital infrastructure caught in the crossfire. Evidence shows that the responsibility lies with the Government of Yemen, the Southern Transitional Council and members of the coalition, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The GEE also expressed serious concerns with the continuous supply of arms to the parties of the conflict by third States, citing the US, the UK, France and Canada as the leading actors.

Senior human rights investigators appointed by the United Nations have called for an in-depth criminal probe into suspected war crimes.

 

To read more, please visit:

https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/09/1072012

 

Author: Giulia Ferrara

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