UN Report Lists Houthi Crimes in Yemen, Calls for Accountability
Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Liz Throssell called on Friday for a serious probe into any attacks that lead to the death of civilians and destruction of infrastructure in Yemen.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights released a report listing the crimes committed by the Iran-backed Houthi militias in Yemen against the people and Saudi Arabia.
“We are seriously concerned at the continuing impact of fighting on civilians and the targeting of civilian objects in Marib Governorate in Yemen, which Houthi forces, also known as Ansar Allah, have been trying to seize from the Yemeni government for several months,” said Throssell.
Among recent attacks, a civilian compound in Marib City - which includes the governor’s office, the local branch of the Ministry of Planning, police headquarters, a mosque and a women’s prison - was hit on June 10 by what are believed to have been missiles, and possibly an explosive-laden drone, launched by the Houthis.
Eight civilians, all police officers, were killed and 30 other civilians, including one woman whose house is near the compound, were injured. In addition, three ambulances responding to the first attacks were damaged by the drone explosion and two ambulance staff were injured, said the spokesperson.
A few days earlier, on June 5, a petrol station reserved for military personnel and authorized civilians, which is located within a government military base close to the city, was hit by a missile, which the Houthis said they had had launched. According to the government, the strike - on what it described as a civilian object - killed some 21 people, including civilians, continued Throssell.
“We call on all parties to the conflict to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law, including their obligation to respect the principles of distinction, which prohibits the targeting of civilians and civilian objects and infrastructure, as well as the principles of proportionality and precautions in attack,” she urged.
“All parties to the conflict should ensure that any attacks resulting in the death of civilians and destruction of civilian infrastructure are meaningfully investigated. Victims of arbitrary killings, including those amounting to war crimes, have a right to justice, and perpetrators of such acts, regardless of affiliation, must be duly held to account,” she added.
Cross-border attacks the Houthis into Saudi territory have also been continuing, although with less intensity in recent weeks, noted the report.
To date, since January, the Houthis have launched some 128 drone strikes and 31 ballistic missiles into Saudi Arabia. The Saudi-led Arab coalition has intercepted the attacks.
“We urge all parties to the conflict to go back to the negotiating table and agree on a nationwide ceasefire. As has been repeated time and again, only a political solution can end this conflict,” said Throssell.
“Given the suffering of Yemeni civilians, parties to the conflict must avoid politicizing humanitarian assistance and allow unimpeded imports of goods so badly needed by civilians.”