Three years ago, Sultan Ahmed started to hear the sounds of battles near his village. Some neighbors fled their homes to safer areas, but he insisted on staying in his home.

“It was difficult to leave my home, so I didn’t flee even if we heard the sounds of battles,” says the father of five children, who is now in his 50s.

Sultan used to be a daily worker on farms and building homes in his village. But when the battles reached his town last week, he decided to flee.

“Five days ago, the conflict reached our village and started to attack our homes, so I took my family and fled this camp, where there are some people I know.”

Sultan arrived at Al-Hadad camp in Marib, where around 340 families live in a makeshift camp. His family slept outdoors for the first two days, until other displaced families helped him set up a tent from those poles.

The Norwegian Refugee Council is on the ground in Marib. NRC distributed essential items like mattresses and blankets to over 1300 families, and Sultan was one of them.

Text: Nasser Abdulkareem/NRC
Photo: Muath Kadam/NRC
Read caption When the conflict reached Sultan Ahmed's village, he and his family fled to Al-Hadad camp in Marib, where around 340 families live in a makeshift camp. Photo: Muath Kadam/NRC

Yemen: Civilian casualties double since end of human rights monitoring

Published 10. Feb 2022|Edited 09. Feb 2022
The number of civilians killed or injured in Yemen has almost doubled since UN human rights monitoring ended last October, new figures show.

In the four months before the end of the human rights monitoring, 823 civilians were injured or killed in the war. In the four months that followed, it was 1,535 civilians, according to data from the Civilian Impact Monitoring Project. During the same period, 39 times more of the civilian casualties were caused by airstrikes.

The UN Human Rights Council rejected the renewal of The Group of Eminent Experts mandate on Yemen last October. The group was the only international, independent and impartial mechanism to monitor human rights violations and other atrocities committed by all parties to the conflict. 

“The removal of this crucial human rights investigative body took us back to unchecked, horrific violations,” said Erin Hutchinson, Country Director for the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) in Yemen. “Who is responsible for the deaths of these children and families? We will probably never know because there is no longer any independent, international and impartial monitoring of civilian deaths in Yemen.”

NRC is calling for an immediate renewal of the mandate of The Group of Eminent Experts or for a similar human rights monitoring mechanism to be put in place.

“The UN member states should urgently reinstate the monitoring body to ensure that parties to the conflict stop committing grave breaches of international humanitarian law with impunity,” Hutchinson said. “With no one to hold perpetrators accountable, civilians will continue to be killed by the thousands and the hardest hit by the escalation of the conflict.”

 

Notes to editors:

  • The failure to renew the Group of Eminent Experts mandate was the first time the Human Rights Council had rejected a draft resolution since its establishment in 2006.
  • The Group of Eminent Experts was the only international, independent and impartial mechanism to monitor violations by all parties to the conflict in Yemen. 

Data: (Source: Civilian Impact Monitoring Project)

  • Total civilian casualties: (7 Jun – 6 Oct) = 823 (7 Oct-6 Feb) = 1535
  • Total casualties from airstrikes: (7 Jun – 6 Oct) = 14 (7 Oct-6 Feb) = 547
  • Total casualties drone strikes: (7 Jun – 6 Oct) = 3 (7 Oct-6 Feb) = 30

For more information, please contact:

  • Jasmin Lavoie, Media Coordinator in Yemen, jasmin.lavoie@nrc.no, +967 73 600 3397 / Whatsapp: + 1514 632 2805
  • Karl Schembri, Regional Media Adviser in Nairobi, karl.schembri@nrc.no, +254 741 664 562
  • Norwegian Refugee Council's global media hotline: media@nrc.no, +47 905 623 29