In This Conflict, Everybody Is Accused of War Crimes

UN investigators say all parties in the war in Yemen are guilty of atrocities
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 28, 2018 10:00 AM CDT
In This Conflict, Everybody Is Accused of War Crimes
A child injured in a Saudi-led coalition airstrike rests in a hospital in Saada, Yemen, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018.   (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

The conflict in Yemen may be a complex international issue, but UN investigators have just found a depressing common denominator: A new fact-finding reports suggests that all parties to the conflict are guilty of war crimes, reports the BBC. That largely means three groups: The Yemen government, the Houthi rebels trying to oust the government, and a Saudi-led coalition trying to prevent the rebels from succeeding because they're seen as a proxy for Iran. The US isn't directly involved in the fighting, but it backs the Saudi coalition and, along with other nations, supplies arms. The UN investigators called on the international community to stop that supply line, reports the Guardian. The 41-page report will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council next month to determine the next steps.

“Despite the severity of the situation we continue to see a complete disregard for the people in Yemen,” says one of the report's authors, Charles Garraway. For example, the report accuses the Saudi coalition of ignoring its own "no-strike list" and hitting refugee camps and hospitals with airstrikes. The rebels, meanwhile, are accused of blocking aid to civilians and using weapons indiscriminately in dense civilian areas. Civilians report widespread detentions, along with torture and rape. (The UAE in particular has been accused of running a network of secret detention sites.) Investigators also cite routine disappearances and the recruitment of children into battle. In short, "(we have) reasonable grounds to believe that the governments of Yemen, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia are responsible for human rights violations," per the report. (Read more Yemen stories.)

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