The United Nations have accused the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen as being responsible for “the single largest part” of civilian deaths since March 2015. This equates to 60 percent of the 3,799 civilians killed according to Reuters.
Mohammad Ali Alnsour, chief of the Middle East and North Africa section of the U.N. human rights office, told a briefing in Geneva that “more transparency” was needed to have a complete overview of the situation in Yemen.
“The compensation of the victims is an important element but it is not the only element. We think there should be a kind of accountability and these violations not to be repeated again,” he said.
The report however also accused Houthi rebels and forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh of having conducted rocket and mortar attacks on residential areas as well as using landmines.
“All sides are responsible (for violations). There was targeting of civilian objects … like markets, like wedding ceremonies, hospitals, facilities that really under international humanitarian law is protected and have a special kind of legal protection,” Alnsour said.
The U.N. however refused to declare that either warring side had committed war crimes.
“We are investigating, monitoring the violations but we cannot decide that this a crime or not, this is for a tribunal or for a specific body to decide. We cannot have this assertion that there is a crime or war crime,” Alnsour said.
“We are saying while conducting military operations there are specific principles should be respected to minimize civilian casualties,” he said.
“The prolonged duration of the conflict has strongly heightened the disastrous risk of a systemic collapse of Yemen,” the U.N. report warned.