Published: Tue, September 03, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

US, UK and France may be complicit in Yemen war crimes

US, UK and France may be complicit in Yemen war crimes

The Saudi-led coalition involved in a war in Yemen intercepted on Tuesday a drone launched by Houthi militia towards the kingdom, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing the Houthi Ansarullah movement.

It says they found reasonable grounds to believe Yemen's government and the Saudi-led coalition, as well as the Houthis, had enjoyed a "pervasive lack of accountability" for violations of global humanitarian and human rights law.

"There are certain states who are well-known to be supplying weapons - that includes the United States, it includes the United Kingdom, and it includes France - to name but three", said Charles Garraway, an global expert on Yemen.

The report accused the anti-Houthi coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE of killing civilians in air strikes and deliberately denying them food in a country facing starvation.

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The wide-ranging report from a U.N. team of investigators created by the U.N. Human Rights Council found that all parties to the conflict had perpetrated possible war crimes through airstrikes, shelling, snipers and land mines, as well as arbitrary killings, torture and other abuses.

The UN report said its independent panel had sent a secret list to UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet, identifying "individuals who may be responsible for worldwide crimes". It said the Houthis, for their part, had shelled cities, deployed child soldiers and used "siege-like warfare". The conflict has worsened a humanitarian crisis that has left more than 24 million people - roughly 80 percent of the population - in need of assistance.

The UN has sought to ease tensions between the groups and prepare for peace negotiations in a war that has killed tens of thousands and pushed the country to the brink of starvation.

Escalating violence across Yemen and the evident rift between Saudi Arabia and the UAE could complicate United Nations efforts to restart peace talks to end the conflict, which is largely seen as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

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