The number of civilians killed or injured in Yemen has almost doubled since UN human rights monitoring ended last October, new figures show.
By: Karl Schembri
Regional Media Adviser for East Africa and Yemen
In the four months before the end of the human rights monitoring, 823 civilians were injured or killed in the war. In the four months that followed, it was 1,535 civilians, according to data from the Civilian Impact Monitoring Project. During the same period, 39 times more of the civilian casualties were caused by airstrikes.
The UN Human Rights Council rejected the renewal of The Group of Eminent Experts mandate on Yemen last October. The group was the only international, independent and impartial mechanism to monitor human rights violations and other atrocities committed by all parties to the conflict.
“The removal of this crucial human rights investigative body took us back to unchecked, horrific violations,” said Erin Hutchinson, Country Director for the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) in Yemen. “Who is responsible for the deaths of these children and families? We will probably never know because there is no longer any independent, international and impartial monitoring of civilian deaths in Yemen.”
NRC is calling for an immediate renewal of the mandate of The Group of Eminent Experts or for a similar human rights monitoring mechanism to be put in place.
“The UN member states should urgently reinstate the monitoring body to ensure that parties to the conflict stop committing grave breaches of international humanitarian law with impunity,” Hutchinson said. “With no one to hold perpetrators accountable, civilians will continue to be killed by the thousands and the hardest hit by the escalation of the conflict.”