Saudi Arabia’s Alleged Violations of Human Rights Law in Yemen

The Saudi Arabia-led coalition airstrike in Yemen last year killed about 292 civilians and wounded 525. The country had intervened to support the Yemeni government against rebels who had control of Sana’a.  

According to a UN report sent to the Security Council, the airstrike carried out by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition may amount to war crimes. The report had warned coalition allies that included France, Britain, and the US that they are obligated to reprimand violations of international humanitarian laws.

The annual report stated that the coalition that included Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Jordan, Egypt, Sudan, and Morocco did not meet international laws and some of its actions amounted to war crimes. Reports say that more than a third of the airstrikes by the coalition had hit civilian sites including hospitals, school buildings, markets, and even mosques.

Gross Abuse of International Human Rights Laws

The coalition has been strongly criticized by the international community for targeting civilian infrastructure during the bombing in Sana’a. According to an official of the British Ministry of Defense (MoD), there have been more than 250 allegations of breaches of international human right laws.

The British sales of arms to the Arab Kingdom have come under great scrutiny after the report of war crimes during the bombing in Yemen. It is said that UK-built Tornado and Typhoon aircraft were used by the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) during the campaign in Yemen.   

The High Court in the UK is set to review the arms deals with the gulf oil kingdom after the human rights activists had accused the British Prime Minister Theresa May of complicity in the Saudi Government’s war crime against Yemen.

Saudi Arabian-led coalition had waged war against Yemeni rebels in March 2015. The aim was to undermine the efforts of the rebels and bring back into power the former government that was cordial with the Sunni Arab state.  

The war had resulted in the deaths of about 11,500 civilians, including children and women. It is said to have unleashed humanitarian crises in the poor Middle Eastern country. The war has resulted in food crises that according to the UN Child Fund has put 370,000 children at increased risk of starvation. According to the World Food Program, nearly 7 million individuals in the country are classified as severely food insecure and about 14 million being classified as food insecure.

Facing such a humanitarian crises, the local population is left in a dangerous situation.  A UN expert had stated that all member states have the responsibility of reprimanding any act of violence that violates the international human rights laws. The violation associated with the Saudi-led coalition is grave that reflects a policy of attrition against civilian infrastructure causing great hardship to the local population for which the international community must strongly criticize the gulf Arab states.