Destruction of Civilization and Human Rights in Yemen
Letter of ADVT for United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Destruction of Civilization and Human Rights in Yemen
Mr. Bon ki- moon
On march 25, 2015 Military invasion to the people of Yemen by the name of “Decisive Storm” (1) started in such a way that after more than 10 months of aggression, civilian casualties from the ongoing operations against Yemen topped 8,100 last year, among them 2,800 civilians were killed and 5,300 more were injured (2), which can be regarded as “War Crime” and hence is labeled as an international concern as well as a neglected human tragedy.
The Saudi -led intervention to Yemen, has exposed over 2.3 million people displaced within Yemen. An estimated 19.3 million people in Yemen now require humanitarian assistance to ensure access to safe drinking water and sanitation, of whom 9.8 million are in need as a direct result of the conflict. An estimated 14.1 million people need support to ensure access to basic healthcare. Medical supplies for mass casualty management and medicine for chronic diseases are in increasingly short supply. Nearly 600 health facilities have stopped functioning due to conflict-related damage or lack of fuel, staff and supplies. An estimated 3 million people now require treatment or preventive services for malnutrition. More than 1,100 schools are currently unfit to re-open for the school year. 174 schools have been destroyed and 611 damaged since the conflict had begun. In addition, 260 schools are hosting IDPs (3) and Water supply systems have been heavily damaged, food prices are spiraling out of control.(4)
As you are informed, the UN charter provides that ” All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations”(5), as stated, UN charter prohibits all countries to invade each other’s territory emphasizing the necessity to maintain the sovereignty and authority of states which guarantees the human rights dignity and respect of human beings.
Saudi Arabia government, as a member of the United Nations, should regard those principles provided in UN charter as well as other international regulation, like ” principle of no use of force, principle of respect to the territorial integrity and principle of respect to the self-determination”, since not regarding such cases would amount to a threat to the peace and security of the world.
use of heavy weapons, cluster bombs in particular, by Saudi Arabia due to their wide and casual effect and also its long term dangers on civilians is prohibited according to The Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM)(6) and as the convention entered into force on 1 August 2010 your excellency spoke that “This new instrument is a major advance for the global disarmament and humanitarian agendas, and will help us to counter the widespread insecurity and suffering caused by these terrible weapons, particularly among civilians and children.” (7)
Geneva conventions(IV) explicitly provides that “Each High Contracting Party shall allow the free passage of all consignments of medical and hospital stores and objects necessary for religious worship intended only for civilians of another High Contracting Party, even if the latter is its adversary”(8). Isn’t the action perpetrated by Saudi Arabia in preventing the free passage of all consignments of essential foodstuffs, clothing and tonics intended for children, expectant mothers and maternity cases violation of humanitarian rights?
With regard to the principle of distinction(9) provided in the Convention stating expressly that in armed conflicts all parties should distinguish between the civilians and militants, and civilian places “may in no circumstances be the object of attack, but shall at all times be respected and protected by the Parties to the conflict”(10), how is it that Saudi Arabia is targeting critical infrastructure and key assets of Yemen including hospitals, airports , schools, governmental buildings and even it has committed other sorts of “War Crime” and violation of International Humanitarian Law by deliberately targeting both memorial services and jubilant ceremonies of civilians which carries no justification to attack such places.
Huge number of states joined to these conventions and customary norms as well as its binding rules is a concrete reason for the importance indicated by international communities and public justice in exercising its principles. International responsibilities of states are heavy to the extent that (ADVT) invites all those in charge of human rights affairs to find a better solution as to support the fundamental human rights of Yemeni’s.
United Nations, according its charter, is obliged “to maintain international peace and security and to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace”.(11) Hence, the passage of more than 10 months of Saudi Arabia’s illegal aggression to Yemen while not stopping the war for humanitarian assistance indicates a weakness in application of responsibility and the apparent negligence towards the human rights affairs of Yemen by UN and relevant Human Rights Organizations.
According to the international criminal court’s charter (12) and also on the basis of the applicational and operational necessity of the Security Council in establishing peace and security of the world, the need for the formation of an investigation team of ICC, UN with the corporation of Non-Governmental Organizations active in human rights in order to bound to Yemen is realized as to provide some report to be considered in the Hague to issue the augment.
ADVT hereby beg to inform your Excellency that humanitarian situation in Yemen is catastrophic acknowledging statement of Coordinator for Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, as the conflict constituting a trauma to the women, men, and children (13), hence the Yemenis are in drastic need to be seriously protected by the United Nations. It is critical that the all parties to the conflict and all members of the international community push for an immediate and permanent ceasefire, so that vital humanitarian assistance can be delivered to people in Yemen. The huge number of death toll and the intensity of war operations besides the absence of separation of military targets by Saudi Arabia, establishes an urgent need to resort to the “Responsibility of Protect” or “Responsibility of Intervention”(14) by UN to stop this aggression.
1- The Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen began in 2015 to influence the outcome of the Yemeni Civil War. Saudi Arabia, spearheads coalition of nine Arab states, began carrying out airstrikes in neighbouringYemen. It imposed an aerial and naval blockade on 26 March, which heralded a military intervention codenamed Operation Decisive Storm.
2- United Nations News Centre,Jan 5, 2016
3- (OCHA YEMAN)
4- (Oxfom-yemen Cisis),
5- Para. 4 of Art(2) of the UN charter
6- The Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) is an international treaty that addresses the humanitarian consequences and unacceptable harm to civilians caused by cluster munitions, through a categorical prohibition and a framework for action.Adopted on 30 May 2008 in Dublin, Ireland and signed on 3-4 December 2008 in Oslo, Norway, the Convention on Cluster Munitions entered into force on 01 August 2010. As of 1 October 2015, a total of 118 states have joined the Convention, as 98 States parties and 20 Signatories.
7- Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General,Friday, July 30, 2010
8- Article 23 of Geneva conventions(IV)
9- Rule 1. The parties to the conflict must at all times distinguish between civilians and combatants. Attacks may only be directed against combatants. Attacks must not be directed against civilians.
10- Article 18 of the Geneva Convention
11- article one of UN charter
12- ROME STATUTE OF THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT,1998
13- Statement of the Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick on his visit YEMEN, (Published on 23 Jan 2016)
14- (A/RES/60/1, para. 138-140) ,formulated in the Secretary-General’s 2009 Report (A/63/677) on Implementing the Responsibility to Protect