Possible conflict crimes in Yemen fuelled by arms flows from West, Iran: UN


Geneva, September 9

Weapons supplied by Western powers and Iran to the warring sides in Yemen are fuelling the six-year-old battle, marked by lethal Saudi-led coalition air strikes and Houthi shelling, UN investigators mentioned on Wednesday.

Coalition air strikes prior to now 12 months could quantity to conflict crimes, whereas the Iran-aligned Houthi motion carried out killings and different abuses which will additionally represent conflict crimes, they mentioned.

It was the third successive 12 months that the panel of unbiased consultants discovered that each one events had violated worldwide regulation. This 12 months’s findings coated incidents from June 2019 to June 2020.

Countries together with Britain, Canada, France, Iran and the United States continued their assist to the warring sides “including through arms transfers, thereby helping to perpetuate the conflict”, the UN panel mentioned in a report entitled ‘Yemen: A Pandemic of Impunity in a Tortured Land’.

“After years of documenting the terrible toll of this war, no one can say ‘we did not know what was happening in Yemen’,” mentioned Kamel Jendoubi, chairman of the Group of Experts.

The three consultants urged the UN Security Council to refer the scenario in Yemen to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for doable prosecutions.

The Saudi-led Sunni Muslim coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015 after the Houthis ousted the internationally recognised authorities from energy within the capital, Sanaa, in 2014.

The battle is broadly seen as a proxy conflict between Saudi Arabia and its regional foe, Shi’ite Muslim Iran. More than 100,000 folks have been killed and hundreds of thousands are on the point of famine, help businesses say.

“During this reporting period, the Group verified a further four airstrikes or series of airstrikes involving similar failures to take all necessary measures to protect civilians and civilian objects,” the report mentioned of the coalition backing the federal government of Yemen’s exiled president, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

“Disproportionate attacks constitute war crimes under customary international law,” it mentioned.

They included “one of the deadliest airstrikes of 2020”, launched by the coalition on February 15 on a village within the Al-Hayjah space of Al-Jawf province, “resulting in approximately 50 civilians killed and injured,” it mentioned.

“The coalition’s restrictions on imports and access to Al-Hudaydah (Hodeidah) port have contributed to shortages of fuel and other necessities and to inflation, thereby exacerbating the economic and humanitarian crisis,” the UN panel mentioned.

Mortar bombs fired by the Houthis hit a central jail within the frontline metropolis of Taiz in April, killing six ladies and two ladies, in response to the report, which mentioned it may represent a conflict crime. — Reuters

 



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