Saudi Arabia, UAE ramp up support for Yemen

The total humanitarian support provided by the Kingdom to Yemen during the past four years amounted to more than $13 billion. (SPA)
Updated 13 September 2018

Saudi Arabia, UAE ramp up support for Yemen

  • The response had been ramped up to meet the most urgent needs of thousands of displaced families
  • The Iran-backed Houthis had been involved in killings, torture, abduction and the illegal detention of people including women and children

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and the UAE, whose aid contribution represents more than half of UN humanitarian targets, have scaled up their responses to the crisis in Yemen, said Mohammed Askar, Yemeni minister of human rights, on Wednesday.

The response had been ramped up to meet the most urgent needs of thousands of displaced families, especially because of the fighting in Hodeidah, the strategic port city through which 80 percent of food and aid are delivered into Yemen.

Askar gave an overview of the conditions of people in Yemen caused by the Iran-backed Houthi militias. He said that “Saudi Arabia and the UAE have provided half of the humanitarian response set by the UN Humanitarian Needs Document for 2018, which is estimated at $3 billion.”

The minister said: “Saudi Arabia also provided $2 billion as bank deposit to curb the collapse of the national currency and stimulate the economy of that strife-torn country.” 

The Kingdom had also responded to WHO and UNICEF by making available $66.7 million to combat cholera. “This is in addition to $60 million for power and water plants, and supplies,” he said.

Referring to other countries that have extended aid to Yemen; Askar said: “We do not forget the great humanitarian roles played by several nations, especially Kuwait and Sudan.” 

“Moreover, we are working closely with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR),” he added, while calling on all parties to ensure the physical safety of civilians and their freedom of movement.

He said that “our relationship with the office of the UNHCR focuses on exchange of information and reports, while we jointly seek to protect and promote human rights in Yemen.”

The UNHCR has opened an office in Aden and is working to build the capacity of Yemen’s National Commission to Investigate Human Rights Violations, enabling Yemeni personnel to attend training courses in Geneva and in Beirut.

The Yemeni Ministry of Human Rights facilitated the work of the UNHCR team in the liberated areas, he said. “The Yemeni ministry and the UNHCR have pledged to work together to strengthen links and enhance joint work in order to achieve the objectives which we both share.” 

The Iran-backed Houthi militias had launched a genocide in Yemen, further compounding the problems, he said.

The Iran-backed Houthis had been involved in killings, torture, abduction and the illegal detention of people including women and children. The number of detainees, who are still in the prisons of Houthi militants, exceedes 2,600, while a large number of men, women and children are either missing or were in secret prisons of the militants, he said. The Houthi militants have also killed more than 1,372 children and 814 women since the war broke out in Yemen in 2014.


Arab coalition cleared of rights violations in Yemen

Updated 09 July 2020

Arab coalition cleared of rights violations in Yemen

  • JIAT reiterates its commitment of transparency while presenting its findings

RIYADH: The Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT) of the Arab coalition for Yemen has investigated four cases that were reported in the media. It found that the rules of engagement had been followed by the coalition for Yemen in each case.
The JIAT reiterated its commitment of transparency while presenting its findings in the submitted cases, and it revealed details in a professional and fact-based way.
Addressing a press conference in Riyadh on Wednesday, JIAT spokesman Mansour Al-Mansour said: “In one case, it was claimed that a military vehicle of the Houthi militia was targeted in front of a restaurant in Zabid, Hodeidah governorate, on Jan. 3, 2018.”
He said the JIAT investigated the incident and reviewed all documents, including procedures and rules of engagement, daily mission schedule, after-mission report, satellite images, provisions and the principles of International humanitarian law and its customary rules, as well as an assessment of evidence. It found that on the alleged date, the coalition forces did not carry out any aerial missions in Zabid, and that the nearest military target that was hit by the coalition on the date of the claim was in Al-Khokhah directorate, about 41 km away from Zabid.
Referring to another case, he said it was claimed that coalition forces had targeted the Mothalath Ahim market in Hajjah governorate on July 4, 2015.

FOURCASES

• In one case, it was claimed that a military vehicle of the Houthi militia was targeted in front of a restaurant in Zabid, Hodeidah governorate, on Jan. 3, 2018.

• In second case, it was claimed that coalition forces had targeted the Mothalath Ahim market in Hajjah governorate on July 4, 2015.

• In third case, it was claimed that the coalition forces had targeted a house in Talan, Kushar, directorate of Hajjah governorate on March 10, 2019.

• In fourth case, it was claimed that a house was targeted in Midi directorate of (Hajjah) governorate on April 22, 2018.

The JIAT investigated the incident and found that Mothalath Ahim, which is 16 km from the international borders of Saudi Arabia, was at the time of the military operation under the control of the Houthi armed militia and the former president’s forces.
Intelligence reports confirmed the discovery of a ballistic missile inside a hangar in a semi-isolated location. There were gatherings of Houthi armed militia and the former president’s forces, and military vehicles at Mothalath Ahim, which was considered a legitimate military target, based on Article 52, Paragraph 2 of the First Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions. Moreover, the coalition forces took all feasible precautions by studying and defining the target’s environment, using a guided bomb that was commensurate with the target, and minimizing collateral damage while achieving the desired military advantage of the military based on Rule No. 17 of the customary international humanitarian law.
In another case it was claimed that the coalition forces had targeted a house in Talan, Kushar, directorate of Hajjah governorate on March 10, 2019.
Al-Mansour said the coalition forces units had detected through reconnaissance a vehicle carrying Houthi armed militia fighters. It was confirmed by ground elements that the fighters got out of that vehicle and entered a building in Jabal Talan, which was considered to be a legitimate military target.
In fourth case, it was claimed that a house was targeted in Midi directorate of (Hajjah) governorate on April 22, 2018.
The JIAT investigated the incident and found that the coalition forces observed gatherings of Houthi militias and a ballistic missile launcher in the area of operations concealed in an isolated area. The coalition forces therefore carried out an air mission against these two targets. The JIAT found that coalition forces had not targeted a civilian house in Midi directorate as alleged.