RNA - According to the UN's top human rights body and experts, Saudi Arabia is responsible for war crimes including rape, torture, disappearances and "deprivation of the right to life" during five years of war against Yemen. In their many reports for the Human Rights Council, UN experts have chronicled the damages from US-backed coalition air strikes, the single most lethal force in the fighting, over the last year alone.
They urge the international community to "refrain from providing arms that could be used in the conflict" – in a clear reference to countries like the United States and Britain that help arm the Saudi-led coalition.
The UN's humanitarian aid agency has called Yemen the world's worst humanitarian crisis - with three-fourths of its population of over 20 million in need of humanitarian assistance. The war has devastated the country's health system and provided the breeding grounds for the world's largest cholera outbreak last year.
Meaning, even getting an expert probe up and running has to be an accomplishment for the UN-backed Human Rights Council, which passed a resolution creating the team last year. Sadly, due to the objections of Saudi Arabia and its allies, the Council failed several times to authorize more intrusive investigation into possible war crimes in Yemen.
Although many people have died and the country is in ruins, it’s never too late for the UN body to do the next best thing: Introduce a resolution that calls for an end to the war and bans and forces Western countries to stop arming Saudi Arabia and its coalition members.
According to Fars News Agancy, the world body should force Britain and the US to stop backing the conflict and giving weapons to Saudi Arabia for its campaign in Yemen amid new evidence that Western bombs are being used in deliberate war crimes.
Even Amnesty International, UNICEF and Doctors Without Borders agree that most of the civilian casualties are caused by deliberate airstrikes carried out by the Saudi-led military coalition. Now that the UN experts and rights groups have concluded that some of the coalition strikes “may amount to war crimes,” the UN should take further steps to end the conflict. This way the world body can stop further air strikes by Saudi Arabia that it says is in violation of the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution.
Both the UK and the US are also complicit in these crimes because they supply Saudi Arabia with munitions that are used in Yemen. They even refuel Saudi coalition warplanes midair. For instance, according to the Pentagon regime, an American laser-guided bomb was once used in a Saudi strike which killed 40 children.
In the UN reports, however, experts urge the international community to “refrain from providing arms that could be used in the conflict in Yemen”. They note that coalition airstrikes have hit “markets, funerals, weddings, detention facilities, civilian boats and even medical facilities.”
This should be more than enough for the UN Council and other human rights groups to seize on these reports and call for the UK and the US to stop arming Saudi Arabia, and other members of the coalition. The coalition members are committing war crimes and yet the West continues to sell them state-of-the-art weaponry.
As for the US and UK governments, they are required under International Law to consider the UN reports and take reports of International Humanitarian Law violations very seriously, and force Saudi Arabia to also adhere to International Humanitarian Law. After all, they keep telling us that they are a world leader in human rights.
These are by no means biased or politicized reports by the UN about war crimes in Yemen. They are based on facts and figures on the ground and the warmongers cannot dismiss responsibility.