UN Report on Saudi-led Airstrikes in Yemen Reveals Violations of International Humanitarian Law

 A woman walks past the house of court judge Yahya Rubaid after a Saudi-led air strike destroyed it, killing him, his wife and five other family members on January 25, 2016. A woman walks past the house of court judge Yahya Rubaid after a Saudi-led air strike destroyed it, killing him, his wife and five other family members on January 25, 2016. © Reuters/Khaled Abdullah

31 January 2016
Unpublished UN Report on Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen reveal violations of international humanitarian law with United Kingdom and United States of America arms involvement 

An unpublished United Nations 51-page report by a panel of experts investigating the Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen has been leaked within a week of being sent to the  Security Council. The report has uncovered that the Saudi-led bombing campaign that began in March 2015 has violated international humanitarian law through widespread and systematic attacks on civilian targets in Yemen. This has also raised questions regarding the involvement of UK and US arms exports to Saudi Arabia.

The panel of experts based their findings on satellite photographs of before and after the airstrikes. The report documents 119 coalition sorties that targeted civilians as military targets, which the panel found to be “a grave violation of the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution.” The experts say that crimes against humanity were committed by the coalition through widespread and systematic attacks, killing and injuring 2,682 civilians due to air-launched explosives.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron was questioned and called to suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia by opposition lawmakers in parliament in light of the leaked report. Cameron assured that the UK has the strictest rules for arms exports and declared that “we are not directly involved in the Saudi-led coalition’s operations, British personnel are not involved in carrying out strikes.”

The experts are calling for the UN Security Council to establish a Commission of Inquiry to investigate violations of international humanitarian law. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stated earlier this year that Saudi-led coalition’s use of cluster bombs in Yemen could be declared a war crime.

 

To read more, visit:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-war-saudi-britain-idUSKCN0V61E2
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/27/un-report-into-saudi-led-strikes-in-yemen-raises-questions-over-uk-role
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-war-saudi-un-idUSKCN0V52Q0
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-35423282
http://www.securitycouncilreport.org/monthly-forecast/2016-02/yemen_20.php

Read 9133 times