The United Nations report on Yemen, prepared by a panel of leading international and regional experts, has been an eternal stigma for the UAE after it accused the starving of Yemeni civilians as a weapon in the war against them.
The experts attributed direct responsibility for the humanitarian situation in Yemen to the parties to the conflict in the country, led by the UAE, which has been waging a criminal war for more than four years.
The humanitarian crisis in Yemen has been exacerbated by the impact of severe and sustained attacks on civilian infrastructure, such as hospitals, water facilities, food transportation, farms and markets, as well as embargoes and blockade-like wars that impede humanitarian access, and other similar measures.
The report said that the inhumane deprivation of the Yemeni population of their rights to medicines, water and food should cease immediately. Priority must be given to the survival of 24 million people in need.
The Panel of Experts expressed grave concern that the parties to the conflict had used hunger as a means of warfare, as these actions contributed to depriving the population of things indispensable to their survival.
The governments of Yemen, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, as well as the Houthis and their Popular Committees, have benefited from the “lack of accountability” for violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, the report said.
The report called for an immediate end to all acts of violence against civilians, in violation of applicable international human rights and humanitarian law, and calls on the parties to take action to protect civilians and ensure justice for all victims.
In its resolution 36/31 of September 2017, the Human Rights Council requested the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to establish a panel of eminent international and regional experts on Yemen to monitor and report on the human rights situation.
The expert group was mandated to conduct a comprehensive study of all alleged violations and abuses of international human rights law and other appropriate and applicable areas of international law committed by all parties to the conflict since September 2014, taking into account the potential gender dimensions of such violations, as well as to uncover the facts and circumstances surrounding the violations. And, where possible, identify those responsible.
The United Nations considers Yemen to be the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, with 14 million people at risk of starvation and a recurrence of deadly diseases such as cholera.
Restrictions imposed by the Saudi-UAE coalition on imports have exacerbated the dire humanitarian situation. The coalition delayed and diverted fuel tankers, closed important ports, and prevented goods from entering Houthi-controlled ports. It also prevented fuel from running generators in hospitals and pumping water into homes.
As thousands of civilians were displaced as fighting intensified on Yemen’s west coast in 2017 and 2018, Houthi fighters and UAE-backed fighters restricted the flight of some families seeking to flee confrontation areas. Aid workers have also been abducted, arbitrarily detained and killed while conducting humanitarian operations in Yemen.