UN experts see possible war crimes in Yemen

A UN human rights panel report released Aug. 28 suggests that parties to the armed conflict in Yemen have been perpetuating crimes under international law. The Group of International and Regional Eminent Experts on Yemen was appointed (PDF)  by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor and report on the human rights situation in the country, as well as to examine all alleged violations and crimes of international law to occur since the war began in September 2014. The report concluded that air-strikes carried out by the government of Yemen and its coalition, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, have caused a majority of the civilian casualties. Other violations included persistent sexual violence and enlistment of young children into the armed forces of both sides in the war.

The UN Human Rights Office has documented that as of August 2018, 6,660 civilians have been killed and 10,563 injured in the Yemen conflict, which pits the government and its allies against the Houthi rebel forces. This actual number is believed to be significantly higher. Kamel Jendoubi, chairperson of the expert panel stated, "There is little evidence of any attempt by parties to the conflict to minimize civilian casualties. I call on them to prioritize human dignity in this forgotten conflict." The report calls upon the government of Yemen to take responsibility in protecting its people by prosecuting these humanitarian crimes.

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