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Yemen, UAE and Saudi Arabia may be responsible for war crimes

Yemen, UAE and Saudi Arabia may be responsible for war crimes

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Gargash said on Tuesday a United Nations report accusing the Saudi-led military coalition fighting the Houthi group in Yemen of human rights abuses merited a response.

The 41-page report from the so-called Group of Experts, established by the U.N.'s Human Rights Council, cataloged acts of violence that occurred between September 2014 and June 2018.

The report concluded that "coalition air strikes have caused most of the documented civilian casualties", pointing to a large number of strikes on residential areas, markets, funerals, weddings, detention facilities, civilian boats and medical facilities.

The experts say they have identified, where possible, individuals who may be responsible for war crimes and passed a confidential list of their names to the United Nations high commissioner for human rights.

"Individuals in the Government and the coalition, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, may have conducted attacks in violation of the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution that may amount to war crimes".

Since March past year, the UN's humanitarian aid agency has said Yemen - already the Arab world's poorest country - is facing the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

"The primary legal responsibility for addressing these violations and crimes lies with the government of Yemen, which bears the duty to protect persons under its jurisdiction", said Kamel Jendoubi, the group's chairman. The UN also referred to possible war crimes by Houthi rebels.

The experts also found evidence of widespread arbitrary detention throughout the country by all parties, and ill-treatment and torture of some facilities.




The war in the impoverished country has left nearly 10,000 people dead and unleashed what the United Nations describes as the world's worst humanitarian crisis, which has brought many to the edge of starvation amid a cholera epidemic.

United Arab Emirates (UAE) personnel and proxy forces which are part of the coalition have raped detainees and migrants, they said.

"Despite the severity of the situation, we continue to witness the total disregard for the suffering of the people of Yemen".

In its first report to the UN Human Rights Council on the war in Yemen, the UN experts pointed to the killing of civilians, especially in coalition air strikes, as possible war crimes.

Fighters of the Houthi movement have fired missiles into Saudi Arabia, blocked delivery of supplies to Taiz and shelled the strategic city from the highlands, the panel said.

The Saudi armed forces did not confirm the attacks. The U.S. supplies numerous precision weapons used in Saudi coalition airstrikes, and provides other limited support, including aerial refueling for coalition jets.

The US goal was to "keep the human cost of innocents being killed accidentally to the absolute minimum" and to bring the warring parties to the negotiating table, Mattis told reporters.

The report said "If there are errors in the targeting process that effectively remove the protections provided by global humanitarian law, these would amount to violations".

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