GENEVA – UN human rights experts say the international community is abandoning millions of Yemeni civilians to a life of intolerable suffering and despair as Yemen enters its seventh year of endless civil war. The statement comes as the three-member United Nations Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts on Yemen presents its findings ahead of a report to the United Nations Human Rights Council next week.
The United Nations estimates that more than 1,200 civilians have been killed or injured in Yemen this year. This is in addition to the more than 20,000 civilians who have been killed or injured since the war began in 2015.
In addition, the United Nations Humanitarian Office reports that approximately 233,000 people have died from causes related to hunger, disease, lack of health care, economic collapse and other causes. indirect.
Leading expert Ardi Imsels says civilians continue to pay the highest price in this conflict, as they sink deeper into hunger, poverty, suffering and despair.
“This year, the Panel of Eminent Experts continues to have reasonable grounds to believe that all parties to the conflict have committed serious violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, some of which may amount to war crimes. ”Said Imsels. “As we have said before, there are no clean hands in this conflict.”
The group accuses the government of Yemen, backed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels of multiple atrocities. The report documents numerous airstrikes in areas populated by the Saudi-led coalition and indiscriminate bombing by the Houthis.
The spectrum of violations committed by all parties includes arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, torture, rape and other forms of gender-based sexual violence. Given the enormous suffering of the Yemeni people, eminent expert Melissa Parke said the situation in Yemen should be high on the international agenda.
“We see a generation of children suffering irreparable harm, being forced to be child soldiers, deprived of their basic rights to food and education, to health care,” said Parke. “Yemen was already patriarchal before the war, but the situation of women has only worsened with the conflict and associated displacement, extreme poverty and indiscriminate violence.
The group says impunity for these crimes must end. Authors must be held accountable and brought to justice. Eminent experts call on states to stop all arms transfers to parties, which they say are driving the conflict.
The report contains a so-called non-exhaustive list of countries supplying arms to warring parties in Yemen. They include Canada, France, Iran, Great Britain, and the United States.