The United Arab Emirates should clarify its role in the apparent Saudi-led coalition attack on a boat carrying Somali civilians off the western coast of Yemen, Human Rights Watch said Thursday (April 13, 2017) in a letter to the prime minister and defense minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum.
The international human rights organization stressed that the UAE should also provide information on the role of its forces in other unlawful coalition attacks, and endorse an impartial, international inquiry into laws-of-war violations by all parties to the conflict in Yemen.
“Desperate Somalis fleeing Yemen’s conflict became the targets of the very violence they were trying to escape,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “The UAE has been a major player in the Saudi-led coalition yet appears to have done nothing to address the role its forces played in scores of unlawful airstrikes carried out over the past two years.”
“The concerns expressed by the UAE armed forces for the attack on the refugee boat should be promptly translated into action,” Whitson said. “The UAE should be pressing other coalition members to accept an impartial, international investigation into this and other allegedly unlawful attacks by all sides in the Yemeni conflict.”