Geneva – The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor expressed its shock at killings and field executions taking place during clashes over the control of governorates of Aden and Abyan in southern Yemen, stressing that these operations are clear indication that parties to the conflict favor their political and military interests over the safety and security of the Yemeni people.
Upsurge in arrests and raids against civilian homes in various districts of Aden rises deep concerns as information gathered indicates that the number of arrests in one day, Friday 30 August, had reached 400 people.
Arrests and house raids, carried out by the UAE-backed Security Belt, targeted military and civilians supporting President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s government, the legitimate government of Yemen, in the northern governorates, as well as in Shabwa and Abyan.
Witnesses and tribal sources said that a group belonging to the Security Belt forces stormed the house of a commander belonging to the Hadi government in Dar Saad district, north of Aden last Thursday and killed his brother.
Eyewitnesses said that on August 28, 2019, the Security Belt forces executed four prisoners inside a hospital after they were injured in a UAE Air Force raid on one of their positions in Sarh Neighborhood in Zanzibar city, the center of Abyan province.
According to witnesses, on the same day, the Security Belt forces also executed wounded soldiers of the Hadi’s government while receiving treatment at Al-Razi Hospital in Jaar city, which witnessed a fierce fighting between the two sides.
A video on Twitter showed Security Belt soldiers kicking an officer of the Hadi government with their feet as they insulted him before stabbing him to death. The Security Belt also stormed homes of Hadi government military commanders and executed guards, according to Abyan’s security chief, Ali Nasir.
Last Thursday, the Ministry of Defense and the Chief of Staff of the legitimate Yemeni government said in a joint statement that the UAE air strikes on Aden and Abyan led to the death and injury of more than 300 people, including military and civilian persons.
The latest killing took place on Friday when a suicide bomber belonging to the Islamic State (ISIS) detonated a motorcycle he was riding near a checkpoint of the Security Belt forces on the outskirts of Aden, killing six of its fighters.
The Security Belt forces and the Yemeni government forces are part of the Saudi-led coalition against the Houthi group that dominated most of Yemen’s cities in 2014. The dispute between the two parties exposed deep cracks in the coalition as Saudi Arabia supports the Hadi government while the UAE funds and arms the Security Belt and other armed groups.
Civilians throughout Yemen suffer from the lack of basic services, worsening economic crisis, the collapsed health, education, and judicial systems.
The Euro-Med warned that such practices, including killings, executions and arrests could spark a civil war, turning south Yemen into a new battle field which will worsen civilians’ humanitarian situation.
“The escalation of violence and armed clashes, between who used to be allies in the past, in Aden and Abyan, is a clear indication that parties to the conflict favor their political and military interests over the safety and security of the Yemeni people,” said Anas Al-Jerjawi, Euro-Med’s Middle East and North Africa regional director.
Al-Jarjawi added that the international community’s complicity in the war in Yemen, since it began five years ago, and the conflict over the control of Aden paved the way to the warring parties to commit heinous violations amounting to war crimes.
The Euro-Med called on all states to immediately suspend sales or transfers of arms to all parties to conflict in Yemen, demanding the United Nations to take serious steps against killings and field executions, arrest those involved, and take legal actions against them. The Euro-Med urged the Security Council to intervene to protect civilians from the UAE’s airstrikes on Aden and Abyan.