Experts: Yemen’s Worsening Humanitarian Crisis Avoidable
By Staff, VOA
The Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen blames all warring parties for the catastrophic humanitarian crisis that has been causing immeasurable suffering for millions of civilians during more than four years of conflict. The experts have presented their latest report to the UN human rights council.
The experts held the resigned regime of former Yemeni President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi and the Saudi-led coalition responsible for the tragedies and disasters that continue to unfold in the country.
Chairman of the Group, Kamel Jendoubi, said the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, caused by the needless death of so many innocent people every day, is completely avoidable.
“There is no excuse to allow the suffering of the Yemeni people to continue like this. I appeal to the international community to take a stand to support the Yemeni people - they do not deserve to live in a world where their most basic human rights are constantly violated,” said Jendoubi. "There is no excuse to allow the continuation of this killing, torture, and abuse. Nor is there a justification for depriving people of their rights to exercise their freedoms of religion and speech without suppression or censorship.”
The Group’s report documented in gruesome and heart-wrenching details the many air and ground attacks targeting hospitals, schools and other civilian infrastructure. It cited deaths and injuries and described widespread human rights violations: the abuse, arbitrary detentions, and starvation of civilians as weapons of war. The experts reported that many of these actions could amount to war crimes, adding that the perpetrators should be prosecuted and brought to justice.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, agreed with this assessment.
“The people of Yemen are living through a terrible humanitarian crisis. Every imaginable source of human misery and suffering is tied up in this single conflict: war, disease, famine, economic collapse, international terrorism, widespread human rights violations and probable war crimes,” said Bachelet.
Bachelet warned that the civilian death toll continues to rise. She added that most of the casualties are caused by the Saudi-led coalition’s airstrikes. Latest reports put the number of civilian deaths since March 26, 2015, at more than 7,500. Children account for more than one-quarter of these deaths.