Skip to main content

Yemen: Armed Conflict

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 22037, tabled on 12 January 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions his Department has had with the UN and other agencies on (a) encouraging the establishment of an international, independent and impartial mechanism to investigate allegations of violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in Yemen and (b) applying pressure on parties to the conflict in Yemen to end the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.

Answered on

19 January 2016

The consensual Resolution on Yemen adopted at the Human Rights Council Session in September 2015 expressed concern about the human rights situation and committed the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights to work with the Government of Yemen to help them investigate human rights abuses and violations. We have urged the Government of Yemen to co-operate fully with this process. We are in regular contact with the Government of Yemen and the UN, including to raise our concerns regarding the impact the conflict is having on the lives of ordinary Yemenis. Yemen will remain on the Human Rights Council’s agenda: an oral report on developments will be given at the next session in March 2016 (31st session) and a written report will be presented to the Council in September 2016 (33rd session).

The UK has regularly raised with the Saudi Arabian Government, the need to comply with International Humanitarian Law (IHL) in Yemen and we continue to engage with them on this. We have also raised our concerns with the Houthis on the importance of compliance with IHL. A political solution is the best way to bring long-term stability to Yemen. The UK welcomes the UN facilitated talks and continue to urge parties to engage in a new round of talks. This will help create the conditions for the legitimate Government to protect human rights and ensure respect for IHL, including as through the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.