Al-Ahed Telegram
Global Donors to Seek More Than $6 bln for Syrian Aid Baqeri: Iran Vows No Submission As Navy Chiefs Meet In Tehran We Should Be Skeptical Of Those Who Claim To Know the Events in Syria Trump’s 2019 Nightmare: Why losing the House would be a personal disaster for Donald Trump Air India Plane’s Window Panel Falls Off Amid Turbulence Lavrov: Missile Attacks on Syria to Hinder OPCW Probe Watch the World’s Youngest Reporter from Nabi Saleh, Occupied Palestine! Iraqi Shrine Tablets Offer Blessings, Cures and a Living ’Israeli’ Ministry Gears Up For US Embassy Move Story Told: German Reporter Cites Locals Narrating How Douma Incident Was a False Flag Attack Sayyed Nasrallah: Every weapon carried by a #Christian in the villages of the northern #Bekaa is that of #resistance because it’s carried to protect his country Sayyed #Nasrallah: This #Resistance has liberated the country and contributed to protecting #Lebanon against the Zionist enemy and occupation Sayyed #Nasrallah: The golden equation protects #Lebanon in light of what is happening in the region Sayyed #Nasrallah: We encourage the residents of Beirut and the suburbs to return to their villages and this has nothing to do with demographic change Sayyed #Nasrallah: #Hezbollah is keen on the national fabric and avoiding sensitivities Sayyed #Nasrallah: We are keen on living together, and communicating with municipalities, elites and political forces Sayyed #Nasrallah: Allegations that #Hezbollah seeks demographic changes are ridiculous and incendiary Sayyed #Nasrallah: We want true partnership between #Muslims and #Christians Sayyed #Nasrallah: #Resistance is a source of strength and protection for #Lebanon. It’s not acceptable to say that it’s a source of threat Sayyed #Nasrallah: We, as #Lebanese, must be always governed by the principle of partnership and cooperation
Guestbook mailinglist.php arabic site french site spanish site facebook twitter rss page
News Categories » Files » Files » Selected Articles

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size  Print Page
Saudi’s Yemen Strikes Inquiry Ignores Hundreds of Civilian Death Reports
Jamie Merrill

The Saudi-led coalition bombing Yemen is investigating less than 15 percent of more than 300 violations of international humanitarian law carried out by its forces in the country, Middle East Eye reported.

Yemeni civilians

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) in London is "tracking" more than 318 allegations of breaches of humanitarian law by the Saudi-led coalition, but the coalition's incident assessment team in Riyadh has investigated just 41 reports of civilian casualties caused by air strikes.

The United Nations estimates that more than 10,000 people had been martyred in Yemen since the bloody war begin in March 2015, and as many as 85,000 people had been displaced in the past 10 weeks alone in what has become the "world's largest humanitarian crisis".

More than 22 million people are in need of aid as the worst cholera epidemic of modern history has ravaged the country, however Saudi Arabia had resisted calls for an end to it's three-year long bombing campaign.

Royal Air Force (RAF) liaison officers are based in the Saudi air headquarters in Riyadh to monitor operations, and the British government has licensed more than $6.3bn of weapons, including laser-guided bombs and missiles, to Saudi Arabia since the start of the conflict.

However, the MoD has declined to confirm whether British-supplied arms were involved in any of the allegations while rejecting called for an international inquiry into the allegations. Instead it has said that the Saudis must conduct investigations into allegations of humanitarian breaches.

Next month it is welcoming Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to London, prompting shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry to call on Prime Minister Theresa May to stop "bowing and scraping to Riyadh".

Campaigners hope the visit will bring into focus UK arms sales rules, under which weapons must not be exported if there is a "clear risk that the items might be used in the commission of a serious violation of international law".

The Saudi-led coalition set up an investigative mechanism, known as the Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT) in 2016 after pressure from the UK and other allies, but the new figures revealed in response to a parliamentary question show that it has investigated just 41 violations of international law, despite the fact that RAF officers in Saudi Arabia have recorded more than 318 incidents of concern.

The release of the figures has prompted the charged that UK ministers are using JIAT as a cover when challenged on Yemen, and as an excuse to continue lucrative arms sales to Saudi.

"Instead of using the JIAT as cover whenever challenged over Yemen, UK ministers should support moves to ensure there's a proper international investigation of human rights violations on all sides to this conflict," Allan Hogarth, Amnesty International UK head of policy and government affairs, told MEE.

He added: "The UK should also finally do the right thing and cease supplying arms to the coalition where there's a clear risk they'll be used to carry out further disastrous attacks in Yemen."

The number of figures on the MoD "tracker" has likely increased since Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt last updated parliament in November last year. The MoD said updated figures would be shortly.

Burt told parliament: "Royal Air Force liaison officers monitor Saudi-led coalition operations in Yemen and provide information to the UK Ministry of Defense. The liaison officers are not embedded personnel taking part in Saudi-led operations, they are not involved in carrying out strikes and they do not direct or conduct operations in Yemen. They are not involved in the Saudi-led coalition targeting decision-making process."

He added that these officers helped maintain a database, known as the trackers, which is used to inform the MoD's advice to ministers over arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

However, the low total of JIAT investigations has prompted renewed claims from a former cabinet minister that the Saudi-led coalition is effectively "marking its own homework".

Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell, the former international development secretary, told MEE: "The concerns that are widely expressed that the rules of war are being breached and that subsequence inquires are not truly independent is yet another concern about an international catastrophe in Yemen which continues to gather pace."

The coalition's incident assessment team has also faced fierce criticism amid allegations of whitewashing in the reports it has carried out.

Andrew Smith, a spokesperson for the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), added: "Saudi Arabia cannot be trusted to run free and fair elections, or to observe the most basic human rights of Saudi people, yet Boris Johnson and Theresa May have entrusted it to investigate itself for war crimes. This total failure to hold itself to account should surprise absolutely nobody."

Hogarth added: "Not only does the JIAT fail to investigate the vast majority of attacks, when it has carried them out its investigations have been notoriously threadbare, sometimes with barely a paragraph of text on specific attacks.

"The JIAT process appears to be less a genuine investigation process, and more a means of absolving the Saudi Arabia-led coalition of responsibility for its actions in Yemen."

MEE has contacted the embassy of Saudi Arabia in London for comment.

Source: MEE, Edited by website team

12-02-2018 | 13:35

Comment Title
Human Verification

News Coverage

Related News

To Top