UN Says Saudi-Led Forces May Have Committed International Crimes in Yemen
March 20, 2016 (EIRNS)—UN Human Rights High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein declared on March 18 that the Saudi-led coalition’s one year bombing of Yemen has caused the vast majority of civilian deaths in that war, and said that the Saudis may have committed "international crimes."
Responding to efforts to divert blame to the rebel alliance, Zeid said that
"Looking at the figures, it would seem that the [Saudi] coalition is responsible for twice as many civilian casualties as all other forces put together, virtually all as a result of airstrikes. We are possibly looking at the commission of international crimes by members of the coalition."
"International crimes" could include war crimes, but an investigation would have to be conducted, yesterday’s Manila Times reported.
Zeid’s office counted just under 9,000 civilian casualties, including 3,218 killed, since the Saudi coalition intervened a year ago to support President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, after "Houthi" rebels seized large parts of Yemen, including its capital, Sana’a.
On March 18, Zeid expressed alarm at two March 15 Saudi airstrikes on a market in Yemen’s rebel-held Hajja Governorate. The UN children’s agency said 119 were killed in those strikes, including 24 children. Zeid’s office condemned
"The repeated failure of the coalition forces to take effective actions to prevent recurrence of such incidents, and to publish transparent, independent investigations into those that have already occurred."
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has also demanded an investigation of the incident, one of the deadliest of the war.