The European Union thanks the Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts for their oral update.
We greatly appreciate the Group’s work, particularly in light of the many and significant challenges faced by them.
We remain profoundly concerned by the appalling human rights situation in Yemen as all conflict parties continue to commit grave violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, with particular targeting of civilians, minority groups, migrants, human rights defenders and journalists. This includes arbitrary deprivation of life, arbitrary detention, torture, starvation of children, gender-based and sexual violence, persecution based on religion or belief, as well as the recruitment and use in hostilities of children.
In the context of the armed conflict ravaging the country, these acts also amount to violations of International Humanitarian Law, and in some cases to war crimes. The EU believes in the need to ensure accountability and justice for all violations and abuses, committed by all parties to the conflict, and therefore continues to support the ongoing work of the Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts and the National Commission of Inquiry and urges all parties to fully cooperate with them.
The EU is also deeply concerned about the recent escalation of violence, especially in Ma’rib and about the numerous attacks on Saudi Arabia. In addition, we are witnessing an ever-deepening humanitarian crisis in Yemen.
There is an urgent need to end any form of violence, to protect civilians, to help counter the famine-like situation in Yemen as 16 million people may suffer from hunger in 2021, and to respect international humanitarian law.
The recent formation of a unity Government has been a positive step towards a comprehensive political solution for Yemen. We condemn the 30 December attack on Aden airport as government ministers arrived and we support an investigation of this matter. The EU shall do everything in its capacity to help and support the Yemeni government in the many challenges it is facing. It is fundamental that all parties to the conflict engage constructively with the UN Special Envoy towards a nationwide ceasefire and a resumption of political talks, including with the full, equal and meaningful participation of women.
In view of having a comprehensive report by the end of its current mandate, could the Group of Eminent Experts elaborate on its access to Yemen and its ability to fully and freely investigate human rights violations and abuses and international humanitarian law violations on the ground?