Rights experts say a ‘climate of fear’ is growing, with all sides to blame


In a new report commissioned by Human Rights Council With regard to how the war has been waged over the past 12 months, the commission has condemned the same “egregious” violations that have characterized its earlier findings.

These include air strikes by the Saudi-led international coalition supporting the Yemeni government, and the “indiscriminate” bombing of civilians, “particularly by the Houthis but also by the Yemeni government and the coalition.”

The country has been divided since 2015 between government forces backed by the military coalition, and the Houthi rebel group – also known as the Ansar Allah Movement – which controls most of the north, including the capital, Sanaa.

In the document titled: Abandoned Nation: A Call for Humanity to End Yemen’s Suffering, the Group of Eminent Experts also cited the Southern Transitional Council as responsible for specific violations, adding that the power-sharing agreement with the Yemeni government, in the southern city of Aden, “remains largely dysfunctional.” “.

The fight continues

The report stressed that all parties to the conflict are responsible for violations that may amount to international crimes.

Examples include humanitarian constraints and obstacles to accessing food and health care; arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, and gender-based violence, including sexual violence; torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment; denial of fair trial rights; violations of fundamental freedoms; persecution and violations against journalists, human rights defenders, minorities, migrants and internally displaced persons; and violations of children’s rights.

an atmosphere of fear

Children sit in front of a house destroyed by an air strike inside the old city of Sanaa, Yemen.  (a file)

© UNICEF / Alessio Romenzi

Children sit in front of a house destroyed by an air strike inside the old city of Sanaa, Yemen. (a file)

The report also highlights the intensity of hostilities on the Marib front in the past twelve months and in several other locations.

The group expressed its regret that the coalition does not seem to take seriously its findings and recommendations regarding the conduct of its military operations.

These include the principles of distinction, proportionality and precautions in attack to protect civilians and civilian objects.

“The climate of fear, lawlessness and impunity for all those living in Yemen has only worsened despite political agreements and high-level discussions among key actors,” said Kamal Al-Jindoubi, Chair of the Group of Eminent Experts.

Life ‘unbearable for many’

The panel of independent experts appointed by the United Nations warned that daily life in Yemen is now “unbearable for many” and that, in addition to the conflict, people have to deal with outbreaks of disease, COVID-19 Pandemic, floods, import restrictions, economic crisis, fuel and limited humanitarian aid.

“In the midst of the current intolerable situation, only real political will on the part of the conflict parties and their supporters, but also on the part of the international community, can end Yemen’s suffering,” said Mr. Jendoubi.

Commitment to accountability

A woman walks in Taiz, the war-ravaged city in Yemen, divided on the front line.

© WFP/Hussam Al-Sharmani

A woman walks in Taiz, a city ravaged by war in Yemen, divided on the front line.

The Group of Eminent Experts urged a complete cessation of hostilities and an end to the supply of arms to Yemen by third parties.

“Given the heavy losses that the war inflicts on the people of Yemen, it does not make sense for third countries to continue to provide the parties to the conflict with tools of war. “The flow of weapons must stop now,” said the head of the council, Kamal Jendoubi.

The experts stressed the need to hold the perpetrators accountable for the violations committed. The report highlights steps that can be taken, including making the peace process more inclusive and encouraging a commitment to accountability in peace talks.

Provide space for discussions on transitional justice, prioritizing consultations with victims; and developing initiatives to strengthen the capacities of Yemeni civil society. “It is now clear that no peace, let alone a sustainable and comprehensive peace, can be achieved without political will and a strong commitment to accountability,” Jendoubi added.

Make Yemen a priority

The report urged the Council to ensure that the human rights situation in Yemen remains on its agenda by renewing the panel’s mandate beyond one year; And by ensuring the provision of the necessary human and financial resources.

The experts reiterated that Security Council It must fully integrate the human rights dimensions of the conflict in Yemen into its agenda and ensure that perpetrators of the most serious crimes do not go unpunished.

This includes referring the situation in Yemen to International Criminal Court (International Criminal Court) and expanding the list of persons subject to Security Council sanctions. The panel of experts is Kamel Jendoubi (Tunisia) – Chair of the Committee, Melissa Park (Australia), and Ardi Emsis (Canada).


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