The United Nations Human Rights Council should create an independent, international inquiry into abuses committed by all parties to the conflict in Yemen, Human Rights Watch and 56 other national, regional, and international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) said today in a letter to council member countries.
Parties to the conflict continue to commit serious violations and abuses of international humanitarian and human rights law, the organizations said.
“What was a steady drumbeat of support for an international inquiry into Yemen abuses has become a crescendo,” said John Fisher, Geneva director at Human Rights Watch.
“Human Rights Council member countries should live up to their own mandate, heed these calls, and put in place a body to begin chipping away at the impunity that has been a central facet of Yemen’s war.”
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the head of OCHA, the UN’s lead humanitarian agency, and the Security Council’s Panel of Experts on Yemen have also called for an international inquiry into Yemen abuses. They have been joined in the call by dozens of Yemeni organizations from areas under the control of both Houthi-Saleh forces and of the Yemeni government.
“Council member countries have twice capitulated to pressure from the Saudi-led coalition and failed to take a principled stance in the face of repeated war crimes and the world’s worst humanitarian crisis,” Fisher said.
Yemen has been since March 2015 under a brutal aggression by Saudi-led coalition. Tens of thousands of Yemenis have been injured and martyred in Saudi-led strikes, with the vast majority of them are civilians.
The coalition has been also imposing a blockade on the impoverished country’s ports and airports as a part of his aggression which is aimed at restoring power to fugitive former president Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.
Meanwhile, Yemen is home to the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, with at least 7 million people on the brink of famine and hundreds of thousands suffering from cholera.