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Updated On: Sunday, 22 September 2019

War Crimes in Yemen

Content by: South-South News

30 August 2018, New York, USA | South-South News — All parties involved in the armed conflict in Yemen may have committed possible war crimes, an independent UN Group of experts has documented.

Speaking on August 27, Charles Garraway, a member of the Expert Group appointed following a UN Human Rights Council resolution, said, “If the removal in the targeting process, of the protections built in and designed to protect civilians- if the removal of those protections is as such as to effectively undermine international humanitarian law then yes, they may arise to violations of international humanitarian law and in certain cases – provided the necessary intent is there – to war crimes as well.”

In a report documenting human rights violations, the Group of Regional and International Eminent Experts, point out that coalition forces are responsible for most of the documented civilian casualties.

Garraway said: “The highest direct cause of casualties is in fact the coalition airstrikes. There have been a large number of civilian casualties caused by coalition air strikes.”

However, the report cites that parties to the conflict may have violated international humanitarian law and call for all parties to cease hostilities. Some of the human rights violations documented in the report include, sexual violence, arbitrary detention, torture as well as recruitment of children into the conflict.

The report also raises concerns on the restrictions imposed by the coalition on the accessibility of the Yemeni population to “vital supplies, food, and fuel.”

The report drawn by a team of three Independent experts describing the conflict as “forgotten”, has called on the international community, through the Human Rights Council, to keep Yemen on its agenda. The Group of Experts on Yemen was established through a UN Human Rights Council resolution mandating them to monitor and report on the situation of human rights - alleged violations and abuses of international human rights - since September 2014, when the conflict begun.

In September 2014, the Houthis took control of Yemen's capital, Sanaa, and proceeded to push southwards towards the country's second-largest city, Aden. In response to the Houthis' advances, a coalition of Arab states launched a military campaign in 2015 to defeat the Houthis and restore Yemen's government.

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