UN experts: refer Yemen war crimes to ICC


A UN group of experts has called on the Security Council to refer human rights violations and war crimes committed in the ongoing Yemen conflict to the International Criminal Court. The Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen concluded in a report released Sept. 8 that the governments of Yemen, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and the Southern Transitional Council are responsible for rights violations including “arbitrary deprivation of life, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detention, gender-based violence, including sexual violence, torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and the recruitment and use in hostilities of children.” The report also alleges thatde facto authorities” in the capital Sana’a (the Houthi rebels) are responsible for the same violations.

The report additionally concludes that Saudi Arabia may have conducted air-strikes on civilians, and that de facto authorities conducted indiscriminate attacks using indirect-fire weapons, both of which amount to war crimes.

Ardi Imseis, a member of the Group of Experts, called on “third states,” including Western powers that have supported the Saudi coalition, to take up the group’s recommendations.

“We are particularly concerned with the fact that third States continue to supply arms to the parties to the conflict in Yemen. There are a few leading players in that: the United States, France, the United Kingdom and this year we added Canada because there has been an uptick in arms sales by the Canadians in 2019,” Imseis said.

From Jurist, Sept. 11. Used with permission.

Map: Perry-Castañeda Library