Yemen: International Law

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 3rd November 2015.

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Photo of Kate Osamor Kate Osamor Labour/Co-operative, Edmonton

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will discuss with his international counterpart the possibility of setting up a judicial mechanism to independently and impartially investigate reports of violations of international humanitarian law in Yemen.

Photo of Tobias Ellwood Tobias Ellwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

We take seriously the reports of alleged violations of international humanitarian law (IHL) and abuses of human rights in Yemen, by all sides to the conflict. We have raised our concerns with Saudi Arabia and other members of the Coalition, and have received repeated assurances of compliance with IHL. We continue to engage with them on those assurances. We are also concerned by reports of alleged IHL violations by Houthi-Saleh forces. We have raised our concerns with the Houthis on the importance of compliance with IHL.

The UK supported the resolution adopted at the recent session of the Human Rights Council which, inter alia, called upon all parties in Yemen to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law, and requested that the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights assist the Yemeni national independent commission of inquiry. This assistance should help the government of Yemen to meet its international obligations in investigating reports of violations of human rights law and international humanitarian law.

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