UN report: Houthi militias use human shields

The UN report said the Houthis had concealed fighters and equipment in or close to civilians in Al Mukha in the Taiz Governorate. (Reuters)

Yemen’s Houthi militias used civilians as human shields, militants in the country received an influx of cash and al-Qaeda has improved its roadside bombs, a confidential report by United Nations experts monitoring sanctions on Yemen has revealed.

The UN report said the Houthis had concealed fighters and equipment in or close to civilians in Al Mukha in the Taiz Governorate “with the deliberate aim of avoiding attack” and in violation of international humanitarian law.

The report added that the Houthis had diverted about $100 million a month from Yemen’s central bank to support the group’s war effort and that the foreign reserves of the central bank had dropped to $1.3 billion in June 2016 from $4.6 billion in November 2014.

The 105-page midterm report covered the past six months. The experts noted that they have been unable to travel to the Arabian Peninsula country so they gathered information remotely.

Assessment team on Yemen refutes claims over Arab coalition raids

“The panel has documented violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law committed by the Houthi-Saleh forces,” the panel said in the report.

The Arab alliance intervened in Yemen’s civil war in March last year to support the government and fight forces loyal to ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh and the Houthi movement, which it has accused of being a proxy for Iran.

An independent Saudi Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT) was formed to assess claims and accidents regarding the Decisive Storm operations in Yemen.

The report on the implementation of an arms embargo and targeted sanctions on Saleh and four Houthi leaders has been submitted to the 15-member UN Security Council sanctions committee. The Security Council imposed an arms embargo on Houthi militias and soldiers loyal to Saleh in April 2015.

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