UN panel suggests US and European nations’ complicity in Yemen crisis

Yemen Crisis, UN Report

The United Kingdom, the United Sates and France could possibly be an accomplice in war crimes in Yemen by selling weapons and military equipment to a Saudi-led coalition, according to the United Nations report.

Experts appointed to the UN panel have consolidated a list of 160 military officers and politicians—backed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Houthi rebels and Yemeni government— who may be subjected to Yemen war crime charges. The list has been submitted to the UN.

Oxfam’s Yemen country director, Muhsin Siddiquey said, “This shocking report should act as a wake-up call to the UK government. It offers all the proof needed of the misery and suffering being inflicted on the people of Yemen by a war partly fuelled by UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia and other coalition members.”

On June 20, the UK court of appeal passed a judgment that weapon sale to Saudi Arabia was churning out in absence of proper UK investigation to access the risk of Yemen war crime under Saudi-led coalition’s umbrella. The court also asked the UK government to present measures to rectify this.

The panel was appointed by the UN human rights council in 2017, and since then its working to introduce some individual accountability of the warring parties and their aid sources.

Forces of Yemen government, backed by the UAE are accused of arbitrarily detaining and threating individuals—including political opponents, journalists, human rights activists and religious leaders—critical of their crimes, according to the report. Sources have said that at least 13 journalists and media workers have been detained in Sana’a for reporting against these forces.

The UN panel stated it encountered allegations against UAE and affiliated forces of torturing, raping and murdering suspected political opponents in their secret prisons and detention centers.

The UN report also includes war crimes charges against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, who have “used anti-personnel and anti-vehicle landmines”, violating the international humanitarian law. These mines were installed in locations with huge civilian footfall.

The United Nations has recorded the deaths of at least 7,292 civilians, including at least 1,959 children and 880 women. The toll of wounded civilians was 11,630 in Yemen. However, experts believe that the overall number of civilian deaths is much higher.

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