The National Salvation Government of Yemen has on Wednesday called on the Human Rights Council to renew the mandate of the Group of Experts as the only UN mechanism that investigates human rights violations in Yemen.
This came during a press conference held by the national team concerned with dealing with the United Nations Committee of Experts at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building in the capital, Sana’a. The meeting had as aim to clarify the position of the National Salvation Government on the fourth report of the international experts’ group on Yemen, which was submitted to the Human Rights Council on September 14.
Ambassador Abdulelah Hajar, Advisor to President of the Supreme Political Council and Head of the National Team to Deal with the Regional and International Experts Group, reviewed the highlights of the fourth report of the experts’ group on Yemen.
The UN experts committee expressed its regret that they were unable to reach Yemen for the third year in a row, due to the war.
The experts’ report said that despite the strong recommendations they made in their previous reports to the Security Council; some countries, including France, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States, continued to support the war in Yemen, through arms sales to members of the Saudi-led coalition, which the experts considered “fuel that perpetuates the conflict.”
The committee’s report confirmed that since March 2015, the coalition has launched more than 23,000 airstrikes, killing and wounding more than 18,000 civilians, which has exacerbated the suffering of Yemenis, especially as these raids often targeted markets, hospitals, weddings, funerals, children on buses, fishermen’s boats and civilian homes.
The experts’ report pointed to the prolonged closure of Sana’a International Airport since August 2016 by the forces of Hadi’s exiled government and the coalition, which has prevented civilians from obtaining life-saving health care, in addition to imposing restrictions on imports such as food and fuel, the most of which was the seizing of 13 ships carrying more than 350,000 metric tons of fuel derivatives from entering despite them having obtained all necessary permits.
The report also touched on the enforced disappearance, arbitrary arrests, and torture practiced by Hadi forces against journalists, doctors, citizens and human rights defenders in the areas under their control.
The report noted that there are violations committed by the Hadi government-in-exile against children, by recruiting and training them in Saudi Arabia to fight in Yemen.
The report of the expert committee concluded that there have been war crimes committed by the coalition countries, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE, in addition to the Hadi exiled government and the Southern Transitional Council, including murder, torture, rape, and other forms of sexual violence, violations of personal dignity, and recruitment of children under the age of 15.
During the conference, Ambassador Hajar said that the expert team had visited Sana’a in March 2018 and issued four reports during the past four years, which broke international silence towards the crimes of the coalition countries.
Hajar affirmed that the National Salvation Government is dealing positively with the team of experts and always welcomes their visit to the Sana’a and other areas in Yemen.