More than 5,000 civilians have died in the Yemeni conflict since March 2015 and the extremist group al-Qaida has become “operational” expanding into the southwestern city of Taizz, a UN Human Rights Council report said Tuesday.
Human rights violations and abuses continue unabated in Yemen, along with unrelenting violations of international humanitarian law, with civilians suffering deeply the consequences of an “entirely man-made catastrophe,” Xinhua news agency cited the report as saying.
As of August 30, at least 5,144 civilians have been documented as killed and more than 8,749 injured.
The civil war in Yemen, the Arab region’s poorest country, began in March 2015 between two factions claiming to constitute the Yemeni government, along with their supporters and allies involving a Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels.
Other armed actors “have continued to take advantage of the prevailing insecurity in Yemen,” said the report. “Over the past year, extremist groups have sustained and adapted their presences. For example, after being driven out of Al Mukalla in Hadramaut governorate in April 2016, Al Qaida is now operational in Taizz city.”
The humanitarian crisis, with nearly 18.8 million people in need of humanitarian aid and 7.3 million on the brink of famine, is a direct result of the behaviour of parties to the conflict, the report says.
These including indiscriminate attacks, attacks against civilians and protected objects, sieges, blockades and restrictions on movement.
Saudi Arabia, with support from the United States, has imposed a naval and airport blockade to assist the deposed government it supports, and resist the Houthi rebels.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein apealed to all the parties to the conflict “to have mercy on the people of Yemen, and to take immediate measures to ensure humanitarian relief for civilians.”