In its annual brief on the human rights situation in Yemen,

On 5 January 2023, Mwatana released its annual press briefing on the human rights situation in Yemen entitled “A Dark Year Despite the Truce”, which included a summary of the patterns of common violations committed in 2022 and the conflicting parties’ share of these violations..

Tuesday, January 10, 2023
In its annual brief on the human rights situation in Yemen,
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Mwatana: parties to the conflict committed violations despite the truce

10 December 2023On 5 January 2023, Mwatana released its annual press briefing on the human rights situation in Yemen entitled “A Dark Year Despite the Truce”, which included a summary of the patterns of common violations committed in 2022 and the conflicting parties’ share of these violations. The online event was moderated by Noria Al-Hussini, Director of Media and Communication Unit at Mwatana. The moderator began the event with a brief definition of the organization’s work affirming its commitment to reach a society, where justice prevails, and to empower everyone to realize their rights. Al-Hussini said: the brief reviews the human rights situation in Yemen during 2022 noting that the figures contained in the briefing are preliminary and only aim to provide an overview of the most prominent patterns of violations that affected civilians during 2022. Noria indicated that during its work, Mwatana published a number of statements, reports, studies, and blogs that cover different other violations and abuses committed by all the warring parties explaining that Yemen has no longer an independent international mechanism for accountability after ending the mandate of the Group of Eminent Experts, which exacerbates the risk of impunity and makes the possibility of achieving justice and redress for the victims seems unattainable. On behalf of Mwatana, Noria urged UN member States to expedite the establishment of an independent international criminal investigation mechanism for Yemen and empower it to document violations committed by parties to the conflict, submit overview reports, collect, preserve, and analyze evidence as well as preparing files for future perpetrators and a mechanism for litigation procedures. In this context, Al-Hussini touched on the April 2022 UN-brokered humanitarian truce between the parties to the conflict. It included ceasing all offensive land, air, and sea military operations inside and outside Yemen, stopping military ground operations, entry of fuel ships to Al-Hodeidah ports, the partial opening of Sana’a Airport, and the re-opening of the roads of Taiz and other governorates noting that some terms of the truce were not executed, and therefore human rights violations continued. The Director of Media Unit in Mwatana explained that the media briefing indicates that 1,066 violations were documented during 2022 as at least 1286 Yemeni civilians were killed and injured. The violations have also caused other types of deep and long-term damage to civilians. She went on: The Iranian-backed Ansar Allah armed group, the Saudi/UAE-led coalition, the internationally recognized Yemeni government, and the UAE-backed forces, including the Southern Transitional Council, all failed to spare civilians from serious violations of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and International Human Rights Law (IHRL), particularly during the truce. On his part, Ayman Al-Kinani, the Director of the Research and Studies Unit at Mwatana for Human Rights, touched on the hostilities that escalated in 2022 and severely affected civilians. Al-Kinani said, “In early 2022, hostilities escalated in large parts of Yemen, particularly in the governorates of Marib and Shabwa, accompanied by an increase in the number of airstrikes in several Yemeni cities.”Al-Kinani said that the month of January 2022 was bloody as the Saudi/Emirati-led coalition carried out repeated unlawful attacks in Sana’a, Sa’ada, Al-Hodeidah, and Shabwa, which resulted in killing and injuring civilians and caused severe damage to infrastructure including health care centers and homes.He pointed out that the Ansar Allah group (Houthis) also carried out ground attacks on different areas of the country, especially the populated cities of Marib and Taiz, which resulted in killing and injuring civilians as well as material damage to homes and residential neighborhoods. Mwatana for Human Rights also documented violations committed by other parties to the conflict, such as the internationally recognized government forces and the armed forces and its affiliated groups, as well as the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council and the Joint Forces in the West Coast. The Director of the Research Unit at Mwatana said that in 2022 the frequency of violations committed by the Saudi border guards against African and Yemeni migrants increased in an unprecedented way. In January 2022, the Giants Brigade and the Government Forces were able to repel an attack carried out by Ansar Allah group the “Houthis” on Marib and Shabwa governorates and regained some lands they had previously lost control over, especially in Shabwa governorate. The fighting has displaced thousands of people and restricted the movement of civilians. On 7 April 2022, a presidential leadership council, headed by Rashad Al-Alimi, replaced former president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. The Council is made of eight members and has all the powers of the President and Vice-President. Speaking about the truce, Al-Kinani said that landmines, explosives, and other remnants of war during the truce period has led to countless deaths and injuries including women and children amidst the uncalculated return of civilian population to the areas that witnessed ceasefire. In early August, Shabwa governorate witnessed armed clashes between Forces loyal to the Saudi-Emirati coalition, which resulted in civilian casualties and displacement of population.At the end of his statement, Al-Kinani said that the parties to the conflict have a shameful record in human rights calling for the establishment of an independent international mechanism to investigate all human rights violations and taking serious steps towards accountability and end impunity.In addition, Ali Abdullah, Senior Researcher at Mwatana for Human Rights, said that during 2022, Mwatana for Human Rights documented at least 1066 incidents of violation against civilians and civilian objects, some of which amount to war crimes. 388 civilians, including 134 children and 19 women, were killed and 880 civilians were injured, including 383 and 70 women. These incidents caused widespread damage to vital infrastructure including hospitals, schools, and service facilities. Ali pointed out the mechanism adopted by Mwatana for Human Rights of documenting human rights violations adding that “Mwatana has field researchers in 17 Yemeni governorates, who collected data by conducting more than (2183) interviews with victims, families of victims, witnesses, and medical and humanitarian workers. Mwatana researchers obtained informed consent from survivors and eyewitnesses.” Mwatana’s senior researcher explained that “Field research relies on collecting physical evidence, including medical reports, identification statements, and pictures of weapon remnants. Mwatana received testimonies and information independently and securely from primary and reliable sources and also worked on maintaining the confidentiality of information.” At the end of the event, Mwatana’s team received two questions from the audience, one of which was about the relationship between what is happening in Ethiopia and its impact on the situation in Yemen, and the other was about Mwatana’s contribution to improving the human rights situation.