Yemen: Armed Conflict

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 4th January 2016.

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Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn Shadow Foreign Secretary

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 9 November 2015 to Question 14485, whether he has made an assessment of whether aerial bombing of Hayden Hospital in Yemen could represent a breach in international humanitarian law.

Photo of Philip Hammond Philip Hammond Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

Holding answer received on 16 November 2015
We are aware of reports of alleged violations of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) in Yemen by the Saudi Arabia-led Coalition - including in relation to an alleged airstrike against a Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) hospital in Sa’ada, which we take very seriously. I regularly review the situation with my own advisers and have discussed it on numerous occasions with my Saudi counterpart. Our judgement is that there is no evidence that IHL has been breached, but we shall continue to review the situation regularly. We have emphasised the importance of full compliance with IHL to the Saudi Government and other members of the military coalition. They have assured us of their commitment to comply with IHL. We continue to engage with them on those assurances and have offered advice and training to demonstrate best practice and to help ensure continued compliance with IHL. We have also raised our concerns with the Houthis on the importance of compliance with IHL and international human rights law. We continue to urge all sides to the conflict to comply with IHL and to investigate incidents of alleged violations fully.

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