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UK calls for UN to ‘praise’ Saudi coalition over Yemen aid

February 16, 2018 at 12:34 pm

Yemenis remove the bodies of those killed in a Saudi-led coalition air strike in Yemen on 13 December 2017 [Mohammed Hamoud/Anadolu Agency]

The United Nation’s Security Council is currently considering a British proposal to “praise” Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for pledging $1 billion in aid projects for Yemen, Reuters has said.

The proposal comes a day after the United Nations made public its report on events in Yemen, criticising both Saudi Arabia and the UAE for using “starvation” as a tool of war. The draft includes a broad statement of its concern about civilian casualties, restrictions on port access and calling all parties to the conflict to allow humanitarian aid access.

“The Security Council should be naming and shaming everyone,” said Director Louis Charbonneau, director at Human Rights Watch. “A statement that condemns one side, the Houthis, but doesn’t even mention the abuses of the other, the Saudi-led coalition, simply nurtures the atmosphere of impunity.”

The UN report published yesterday investigated several incidences of torture by UAE backed forces, conducting enforced disappearances of Yemeni detainees and denial of due process.

Yemen war ‘escalating’, says UN human rights chief

In July last year, Britain deemed it “lawful” to continue arming Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, according to a High Court case despite fears of war crimes.

The Yemen civil war erupted in September 2014 when the Houthis overtook Sana’a, forcing internationally recognised President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi to relocate his government to the southern city of Aden. In March 2015, Hadi requested a Saudi-led coalition intervene militarily in order to halt Houthi advances.

More than 10,000 Yemenis have been killed as a result of the fighting.