Yemen: NPWJ strongly welcomes European Parliament’s call to address accountability for crimes committed by the military coalition led by KSA and UAE

12 Feb, 2021 | Press Releases

Brussels-Rome, 12 February 2021

No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) strongly welcomes the approval by a large majority of the European Parliament – 638 votes for, 12 against and 44 abstentions – of a resolution that condemns in the strongest terms the ongoing violence in Yemen. After 5 and a half years of conflict which has turned into what the United Nations Secretary General António Guterres has qualified as “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis », Yemen is a broken country, devastated by epidemics – cholera and covid 19 – and by famine. 

Above all, NPWJ highlights the Resolution’ request to address at a political level and in an unequivocal manner the serious responsibilities foreign actors – such as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – have in the devastation brought to Yemen. As called for by the European Parliament, this means enacting specific actions and measures, such as: banning exports of weapons any military equipment to the parties involved in the conflict; ensuring accountability for KSA and UAE’s war crimes in front of the International Criminal Court, as well as through other EU Mechanisms (via the new EU Global Human Rights Sanction Regime) which includes implementing targeted sanctions, travel bans and asset freezes for individuals, on officials of all parties to the conflict involved in grave human rights violations including Iran, Saudi Arabia and the UAE; supporting the gathering of evidence of such alleged crimes and atrocities with a view to using them in future prosecutions, and to consider the establishment of an independent commission to oversee this process; providing support to victims and their families to ensure their right to justice and redress. 

Welcoming the EU’s pledge to triple humanitarian help for Yemen in 2021, MEPs also urge the European Commission and EU member states to lead international efforts to urgently scale up humanitarian aid.

Finally, the EP resolution welcomes the decision of the new US Government to urgently revoke the decision of the former US Government to designate the Houthi movement as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation and Specially Designated Global Terrorists as well as the United States’ temporary halting of arms sales that are used for the conflict in Yemen to Saudi Arabia and of a USD 23 billion package of F-35 jets to the UAE. The US’ renewed commitment to a diplomatic resolution to the conflict, as signified by the recent appointment of a US Special Envoy for Yemen is a very good news for all the international community that wants to see Yemen conflict ended.

With this landmark resolution, the European Parliament sends a very clear message to the world: impunity for those who bear the greatest responsibility for the military-led disaster in Yemen is not an option and their accountability should be pursued by all political and judicial means available. NPWJ looks forward the EU Council and the EU member states to follow MEPs in taking a clear and united stance for action aimed at ending the fighting in Yemen, easing the suffering of its population and providing accountability for the crimes and atrocities committed.

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