Wednesday, January 27, 2016

UN: Saudi strikes on Yemen civilians may be crimes against humanity

    Wednesday, January 27, 2016   No comments

A Saudi-led coalition fighting in neighboring Yemen has targeted civilians with air strikes and some of the attacks could be a crimes against humanity, United Nations sanctions monitors said in an annual report to the Security Council.

The report by the U.N. panel that monitors the conflict in Yemen for the Security Council, seen by Reuters on Wednesday, sparked calls by rights groups for the United States and Britain to halt sales of weapons to Saudi Arabia that could be used in such attacks.

The panel of experts documented 119 coalition sorties "relating to violations of international humanitarian law" and said that "many attacks involved multiple air strikes on multiple civilian objects."

The U.N. experts said all parties to the conflict in Yemen were violating international humanitarian law. They said that in certain cases the violations by the coalition were conducted in a "widespread and systemic manner" and therefore could qualify as crimes against humanity.

The U.N. experts recommended the 15-member Security Council consider establishing a Commission of Inquiry to investigate violations of international law.

The Saudi U.N. mission was not immediately available for comment.

"The U.S. and UK governments should immediately halt the transfer of any arms to the Saudi-led coalition that might be used for such violations, and they should back an international investigation into abuses committed by all sides," said Philippe Bolopion of international rights group Human Rights Watch. 


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