Independent body needed to investigate Yemen violations

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The city of Sa'ada in Yemen has been heavily hit by airstrikes. Photo: OCHA/Philippe Kropf

An international independent body is needed to carry out "comprehensive investigations" into human rights violations committed by all sides in Yemen's civil war.

That's the view of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein.

He issued a statement coinciding with the publication of a report from the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) listing serious allegations of violations carried out by all sides during the on-going conflict.

Daniel Dickinson has more.

The report highlights the impact of violations and abuses committed both by government forces and Houthi rebels, since fighting escalated in March 2015.

An estimated 3,800 civilians have been killed and more than 6,700 injured during the heavy fighting.

Houthi rebels are in control of the capital and have laid siege to the city of Taiz, while government forces have been supported by fighter planes from a Saudi-led coalition.

Here's Muhammad Ali Ansour, chief of OHCHR's Middle East and North Africa section, speaking on Thursday in Geneva.

"There was targeting of civilian objects protected by international law, like markets, wedding ceremonies, hospitals. So it is not specific sides or a specific party to the conflict. We have seen the siege of Taiz, rocket attacks by the Houthis, and at the same time we have witnessed air strikes by the coalition on civilian infrastructure and civilian objects."

The OHCHR report said that the "perpetuation of the conflict and its consequences on the population in Yemen are devastating" adding that "the international community has a legal and moral duty to take urgent steps to alleviate the appalling levels of human despair."

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations. 

Duration: 1’26″

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