Amnesty International has accused Saudi-led forces of possible war crimes over interference with deliveries of food, fuel and aid during aggression on Hodeida in Yemen’s Western Coast.
More than 8 million people in Yemen are at risk of starvation and aid groups fear the battle for Hodeida, which imports most of the aid and commercial supplies shipped in to Yemen, could have widespread and fatal consequences.
The Saudi coalition has imposed a blockade on Yemeni ports controlled by Yemeni army and popular committees.
The blockade has played a significant role in the collapse of the health system and exacerbated suffering that Amnesty International said could, “constitute a war crime”.
“Millions of lives are at risk in Yemen because food, fuel and medical supplies are being deliberately delayed on entry to the war-torn country by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition,” Amnesty International said, noting that the distribution of supplies have been also delayed by what he called “Houthi authorities.”
In a 22-page report, Stranglehold, Amnesty shows how the Saudi-led coalition has imposed excessive restrictions on the entry of essential goods and aid.
“The Saudi Arabia-led coalition must end delays on commercial imports of essential goods destined for Yemen’s Red Sea ports and allow the reopening of Sana’a airport to commercial flights. States providing the coalition support, in particular the USA, United Kingdom and France, should pressure them to do so,” Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East Research Director, said.
“This man-made humanitarian crisis cannot be ignored any longer. The world must stop looking the other way while the life is slowly suffocated out of Yemen,” Maalouf added.
“By delaying vital supplies such as fuel and medicine getting into the country, the Saudi-led coalition is abusing its powers to cruelly inflict additional hardship on the most vulnerable civilians in Yemen.”
“Blockades that cause substantial, disproportionate harm to civilians are prohibited under international law,” Maalouf stressed.