More than 100 civilians were killed in Yemen over the month, most of them by airstrikes and shelling conducted by the forces of the Saudi-led coalition, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said on Friday.
“Over the past month alone, 106 civilians have been killed, mostly by air strikes and shelling by Coalition war ships,” the statement released by the Office said, adding that a certain number of Somali refugees were among the casualties, as well as Yemeni fishermen, women, and children.
“The violent deaths of refugees fleeing yet another war, of fishermen, of families in marketplaces – this is what the conflict in Yemen looks like two years after it began… utterly terrible, with little apparent regard for civilian lives and infrastructure,” Prince Zeid bin Raad, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, said, as cited in the statement.
The Commissioner stressed that two years of conflict is “enough”, and urged “all parties to the conflict, and those with influence, to work urgently towards a full ceasefire to bring this disastrous conflict to an end, and to facilitate rather than block the delivery of humanitarian assistance.”
Zeid also called for creation of an independent international investigation into the numerous reports of serious violations of human rights in Yemen, stressing that those responsible for thousands of civilian deaths in Yemen should not “enjoy full impunity.”
Yemen’s civil war between the internationally recognized Aden-based government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and the Houthi movement backed by army units loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh erupted in March 2015. Shortly after the start of the conflict, the Saudi-led coalition of Arab countries launched Operation Decisive Storm, which has since been carrying out airstrikes against the Houthis at Hadi’s request.
According to the latest UN data, the total number of documented civilian deaths in the Yemeni war makes almost 4,800 people, with over 8,200 civilians injured. The UN Human Rights Office warns that the actual number of civilians killed in the conflict may be “considerably higher.”