In a controversial decision in 2019, that was opposed by many career professionals, the U.S. secretary of state waived the inclusion of Saudi Arabia on its annual list of countries that recruit child soldiers, even though it met all the criteria to be included. Former deputy secretary of defense for the Middle East, Michael Mulroy, said, "this is a glaring example of an OPAC signatory not adhering to the stipulations of their signed commitments. As an international community, we are not demanding 100 percent compliance, and that needs to change."
In October 2017, a Yemeni citizen died under "severe torture" inside a secret prison run by the United Arab Emirates in the south of Yemen. As videos showed, the body of Ahmed Dubba revealed disturbing signs of torture after it was released from Khanfar Prison. According to media reports, UAE forces in Yemen had carried out a detention campaign against religious scholars and preachers who opposed their presence in the country where prisoners were subject to physical and psychological torture. According to Yemeni rights group Sam, the issue of secret prisons in Yemen has become a regular phenomenon.More Info
A UN panel of experts said in a report for the UN Security Council in January 2016, which was leaked to The Guardian, that the Saudi-led coalition had undertaken 119 sorties in Yemen that violated international humanitarian law. The panel said it had "documented that the coalition had conducted airstrikes targeting civilians and civilian objects, in violation of international humanitarian law, including camps for internally displaced persons and refugees; civilian gatherings, including weddings; civilian vehicles, including buses; civilian residential areas; medical facilities; schools; mosques; markets, factories and food storage warehouses; and other essential civilian infrastructure, such as the airport in Sanaʽa, the port in Hudaydah and domestic transit routes". The report said: "Many attacks involved multiple airstrikes on multiple civilian objects. Of the 119 sorties, the panel identified 146 targeted objects. The panel also documented three alleged cases of civilians fleeing residential bombings and being chased and shot at by helicopters." While the UN experts were not allowed on the ground in Yemen, they studied satellite imagery of cities before and after attacks, that showed "extensive damage to residential areas and civilian objects". The UN panel concluded that "civilians are disproportionately affected" by the fighting and deplored tactics that "constitute the prohibited use of starvation as a method of warfare". The report said: "The coalition's targeting of civilians through airstrikes, either by bombing residential neighbourhoods or by treating the entire cities of Sa'dah and Maran as military targets, is a grave violation of the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution. In certain cases, the panel found such violations to have been conducted in a widespread and systematic manner." The report called for an international commission, set up by the Security Council, that should "investigate reports of violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law in Yemen by all parties and to identify the perpetrators of such violations". Saudi Arabia had previously objected to an inquiry being set up.More Info
On 22 April airstrikes continued in Taiz, where an army base was hit shortly after Houthi fighters took it over, and Aden, where an airstrike targeted Houthi tanks moving into a contested district, among other locations, such as Al Hudaydah and Ibb. The Houthis continued to fight for territory, with a Houthi spokesman saying the group would be prepared for peace talks on the condition of "a complete halt of attacks". The previous round of UN-sponsored talks collapsed after Houthi rebels attacked Hadi's residence in Sanaʽa.More Info
An explosion in a warehouse on Sunday 7 April 2019, in Sanaa, have killed at least 11 civilians, including school children and left more than 39 people wounded. The Associated Press news agency said 13 killed, including 7 children and more than 100 were wounded. According to Al Jazeera and Houthi officials, the civilians were killed in a Saudi-led coalition airstrike. The Saudi-led coalition denied any airstrikes took place that day on Sanaa. The state-run news agency in Aden, aligned with the internationally recognized government, said the rebels had stored weapons at the warehouse. According to The Washington Post, "some families and residents of the district of Sawan said the explosion occurred after a fire erupted inside the warehouse. They said a fire sent columns of white smoke rising into the air, followed by the explosion." Their accounts were confirmed by several videos filmed by bystanders.More Info
In March 2017, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported that "Since the start of the current conflict, at least 4,773 civilians had been killed and 8,272 wounded, the majority by coalition airstrikes.... Human Rights Watch has documented 62 apparently unlawful coalition airstrikes, some of which may amount to war crimes, that have killed nearly 900 civilians, and documented seven indiscriminate attacks by Houthi-Saleh forces in Aden and Taizz that killed 139 people, including at least eight children."More Info
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