24 October 2018
10 Priorities for Peace and Justice in Yemen
The undersigned local, regional, and international organizations follow with great concern the military operations across Yemen and the collapsed September 2018 Geneva peace talks. The Yemen war has led to an economic and social collapse, including a currency crisis which puts millions of Yemenis on the verge of famine.
Recalling the August 2018 report of the UN Group of Eminent Experts, which found that all parties to the conflict have committed grave human rights violations, including some that may amount to war crimes, the undersigned organizations:
• Call on the UN envoy, the United Nations and the international community – particularly the UN Security Council members – to intensify their efforts to re-launch negotiations between the conflicting parties. The organisations also call on local and regional parties to cooperate fully, immediately, and unconditionally with the efforts of the UN envoy.
• Welcome the renewal of the Group of Eminent Experts as an important step towards putting an end to impunity for violations against civilians in Yemen. The organizations also call on all parties to cooperate with the Group and facilitate its work. They call on the Group to expand its framework and scope of work to all across Yemen, in cooperation with Yemeni civil society.
• The organizations call on all governments to immediately cease arms sales or transfers or military support / aid to any regional or local actor participating in Yemen war, and work effectively toward holding accountable those accused of grave violations of Human Rights in Yemen.
• Call on the UN envoy to prioritize human rights at the heart of the next political process and integrate human rights within his de-escalation plan and measures.
• Call on the Government of Yemen and the Saudi-led coalition to shoulder their legal, functional and historical responsibility in relation to stopping the economic collapse in the country. The undersigned organizations call on the Houthi armed group to submit state revenues to the necessary financial institutions, and call on the Yemeni government to pay public salaries throughout the country, and address the administrative failures and corruption allegations.
• Call on the Saudi-led coalition to immediately open all sea, land, and air ports, and call on the coalition, the Yemeni government, the Houthi armed group, and forces aligned to these actors, to stop the siege of cities (e.g., Taiz and other provinces) and obstruction of the movement of people, trade, and humanitarian aid within and to Yemen.
• Call on the Houthi armed group, the Yemeni government, and the Saudi-led coalition to respect international humanitarian law and international human rights law and to stop targeting civilians and civilian objects.
• Call on the parties to the conflict to release all detainees, abducted, and disappeared persons, including journalists, religious minorities, and politicians, and to lift the restrictions on local and international organizations.
• Call on the Houthi armed group to halt the use of landmines, and to present a map to the UN envoy of all the mines that they have planted, in preparation for their removal.
• Call upon all parties to the conflict to stop the recruitment of children, and to demobilize those recruited.
• Call on international humanitarian and relief organizations to coordinate their money transfers to the country with the Central Bank of Yemen, and use their financial assets abroad to facilitate the purchase of basic commodities, medicine, and fuel imports.
Yemenis have paid a heavy price for this war. The war has made life a more difficult choice than death. It is time for international and regional actors to join together for peace instead of war.
The undersigned organizations reiterate that the only solution in Yemen is a political solution. Therefore, we repeat our call on the UN Security Council to adopt a Resolution committed to a timeline for a new, more comprehensive peace process to work towards an inclusive political solution in Yemen. We call on the international community to use its leverage to punish and deter anyone who obstructs peace efforts or violates human rights in Yemen.
Sana'a Center for Strategic Studies
Columbia Law School Human Rights Clinic
Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
Wogood Foundation for Human Security
Musaala Organization For Human Rights
Improve Your Society Foundation
Mwatana For Human Rights
Percent Foundation for Polling
Center for Applied Research in Partnership with the Orient – CARPO
Yemen Peace Project
Global Legal Action Network (GLAN)
Rights Watch UK
Win Without War
Dhameer Foundation for Human Rights
Human Rights First
Resources Foundation for Human Rights
Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect
Veterans Against the War
Stanford International Human Rights Clinic
University Network for Human Rights
NYU School of Law Global Justice Clinic
Project on Middle East Democracy