Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi militia has committed war crimes since the expiry of a peace agreement last month, the United Nations’ human rights chief said on Friday, citing incidents of sniper attacks and shelling.
Yemen’s warring parties failed to renew a UN-brokered truce deal that expired a month ago, dashing the hopes of some Yemenis for a broader pact that would ease economic woes and prolong relative calm after more than seven years of fighting.
Since then, the UN human rights office said it has verified three incidents of shelling in government controlled-areas that killed a boy and a man and wounded others as well as three incidents of sniper shootings, attributing the attacks to Yemen’s Houthis.
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“We are gravely concerned for the safety and security of civilians,” said Jeremy Laurence, a spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk.
“The deliberate targeting of civilians and civilian objects is prohibited by international law and constitutes a war crime.”
The Houthi side had no immediate comment.
A UN spokesperson told the same Geneva briefing on Friday that efforts were continuing to revive the truce.
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