UAE, Saudis may have committed war crimes in Yemen: UN Experts

UAE, Saudis may have committed war crimes in Yemen: UN Experts

UAE, Saudis may have committed war crimes in Yemen: UN Experts

A report for the U.N.'s Human Rights Council says the governments of Yemen, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia may have been responsible for war crimes during 3½ years of fighting against rebels there.

It accused the "de facto authorities" - an allusion to rebel leaders that control some of the country's most populated western and northern areas - of crimes including arbitrary detentions, torture and child recruitment.

Saudi Arabia and its allies have fought the Huthis since 2015 in an attempt to restore Yemen's internationally recognised government to power and push back the rebels, who still hold the capital Sanaa. They have also committed torture, a war crime, it said. They urged all states to restrict arms sales to help end the war.

Kamel Jendoubi, chairperson of the Group of worldwide and Regional Eminent Experts on Yemen who authored the report said in a statement that "There is little evidence of any attempt by parties to the conflict to minimize civilian casualties".

In their first such report, they allege Yemeni government forces, the Saudi-led coalition backing them, and the rebel Houthi movement have made little effort to minimise civilian casualties.

The US goal was to "keep the human cost of innocents being killed accidentally to the absolute minimum" and to bring the warring parties to the negotiating table, Mattis told reporters.

It was released ahead of United Nations peace talks between the government and Houthis on September 6 in Geneva.

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"There were no casualties as a result of the interception", said the spokesman of the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis, Colonel Turki Al-Maliki.

The experts have also chronicled the damages from coalition air strikes, the single most lethal force in the fighting, over the past year.

United Arab Emirates (UAE) personnel and proxy forces which are part of the coalition have raped detainees and migrants, they said.

Nearly 10,000 people - two-thirds of them civilians - have been killed and 55,000 others injured in the fighting, according to the United Nations.

"The Coalition will take an appropriate position on this matter and make an announcement about it once the legal team submits its observations", it said in a statement. On Twitter, Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash wrote that the U.A.E. But he added the region needed to be preserved from "Iranian encroachment". Strikes that fail to spare people or structures protected by global humanitarian law would be unlawful violations. They chastised some in-the-field coalition combatants for "routinely" failing to seek information about targets on official "no-strike" lists that should have been avoided.

Garraway said that despite requests, the panel had not been given full access to the coalition's targeting process, making it extremely hard to reach firm conclusions.

They point to the bombing and shelling of schools, hospitals and markets, in which thousands of people have died.

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