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Updated On: Friday, November 24 2017

UN Human Rights Mission to Yemen

Content by: South-South News

10 November 2017, New York, USA | South-South News — After an official visit to Yemen, a team from the UN Human Rights Office described the situation there as a human tragedy. Hadil Al-Asbahi, a local UN security Officer, expressed the people’s suffering, summing up livelihood in Yemen as “still dead.”

Speaking of the ongoing conflict, Mohammad Ali Alnsour, Chief of the Middle East and North Africa at the UN Human Rights Office, said, “This is a human tragedy. This is a war. As we have seen in other crisis, in other wars Syria for instance, Iraq, the consequences cannot be regional alone. You will see refugees going and trying to find a safe country elsewhere. So, it is a global concern. It is not only a regional conflict. So, we think addressing this conflict and trying to force the conflicting parties to respect their obligations is very important by the international community as a whole.”

The visit laid the groundwork for the group of eminent experts established by the Human Rights Council in September to carry out a comprehensive examination of all alleged violations and abuses of international human rights and international law committed by all parties to the conflict, and, where possible, to identify those responsible. The eminent experts will be appointed before the end of the year by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The UN Human Rights Office has a presence in the country since 2013. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ representative in Yemen, Elobaid Ahmed Elobaid said Yemenis were tired of the conflict and hopes that the international community will come to their aid.

Elobaid said, “Actually, they are caught in between a vicious war and to a greater extent – the warring parties who do not necessarily care about the well-being of these people.”

He added: “And that is why I think it is the moral responsibility for everybody to help these young people, because they do not want this, they are tired of this and they are suffocating as a result of this. It’s not just the war, it is the cholera, and it is what comes after the cholera. It is the lack of security. It is the kids that have been scarred to death. And they still carry the scars of continuous bombardment or maiming and killing and mines and all that. If the world should not care about a situation like this, what should the world care about?”

Alnsour said their mission to the war-torn Middle East country was to explain to the different parties to the conflict, the mandate of the eminent experts.

He said, “Accountability is a key element in any conflict. It will force the conflicting parties to respect the principles of international humanitarian law and respect their obligations under international human rights law. So, it was important for us to pave the way for the international experts.”

The team met with various stakeholders, including the de-facto authorities, government officials and civil society organizations in Sana’a and in Aden.

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