Shameful war violations in Yemen, UN chief blames
8 September, 2017
The UN human rights chief has described as "shameful" the reticence of the international community to investigate violations in the conflict in Yemen. The failure to seek justice for victims was "contributing to the continuing horror", Zeid Raad Al Hussein said. His comments came after the release of a report that said almost every rule of modern warfare was being flouted. It found that civilians were targeted in air strikes, prohibited weapons used and children recruited as soldiers.
Saudi-led coalition air strikes - supported by the United States and the United Kingdom - continued to be the leading cause of the 13,893 civilian casualties documented, reportedly killing some 3,233 people.
The new report published in Geneva on 5 September found that human rights violations and abuses were continuing unabated in Yemen, with civilians suffering deeply the consequences of an "entirely man-made catastrophe". In many cases, it states, information obtained by UN officials suggested that civilians "may have been directly targeted, or that operations were conducted heedless of their impact on civilians without regard to the principles of distinction, proportionality and precautions in attack."
The UN says at least 5,144 civilians have been killed - a quarter of them children - since March 2015, when a Saudi-led coalition intervened in the war between President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi's government and the rebel Houthi movement. The conflict has also left 20.7m people in need of some kind of humanitarian assistance, created the largest food security emergency in the world and led to a cholera outbreak that is believed to have affected 600,000 people since April.
The strikes targeted markets, hospitals, schools, residential areas and infrastructure, as well as funeral gatherings and civilian boats, the report says.