Press Release on the Responsibility to Protect, on the situation in Yemen

The Special Advisers to the Secretary-General on the
Prevention of Genocide and on the Responsibility to Protect express concern at continued
allegations of grave violations and abuses of human rights law and violations of international
humanitarian law in the context of the on-going conflict in Yemen and voiced their support for
the call made by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to establish an
impartial, international mechanism to investigate the facts and the circumstances.

Civilians continue to bear the brunt of the conflict in Yemen. The United Nations High
Commissioner for Human Rights has reported that since March 2015, there have been 13,920
verified civilian casualties, with 5,159 civilians killed and 8,761 injured - an average of more
than 110 civilians killed or injured per week. Coalition airstrikes continued to be the leading
cause of civilian casualties, and child casualties, in the conflict. These include only the casualties
recorded by reporting mechanisms; the true extent of casualties is almost certainly much higher.
The conflict has been characterised by a disturbing pattern of apparent attacks by all parties to
the conflict targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, schools, markets
and residential areas, without consideration for the principles of distinction, proportionality and

The impact of the conflict has been exacerbated by disregard for international humanitarian law.
According to United Nations estimates, 17 million people are food insecure, including seven
million people on the brink of famine. The unprecedented rise in the cholera epidemic has
reached over 690,000 suspected cases with 2,090 associated deaths – the largest ever outbreak in
a single year.

“We call on the international community – and particularly the Security Council and Human
Rights Council – to take action to end the carnage and remedy this man-made crisis”.
“The international community has a moral and legal responsibility to support accountability in
Yemen by immediately establishing an impartial international mechanism to comprehensively
investigate allegations of serious abuses and violations of human rights law and international
humanitarian law committed by all parties to the conflict, and their allied forces with a view to
ending impunity. The perpetrators must be brought to account. Justice must be served to the
victims. It is incumbent on the international community to halt the suffering that is being
inflicted on the Yemeni population”.

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For media queries please contact:
Peter Mutua, Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect
Phone: +1 212 963-1284; Email:


(c) 2017 United Nations

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