Aqeel: The targeting of displaced persons camps exacerbates the humanitarian situation in Yemen
Nourhan Mustafa: The targeting of the camps is a clear violation of the rules of international humanitarian law
Maat Foundation for Peace, Development and Human Rights condemns the actions of the Houthi movement to the camps for the displaced in the western governorate of Ma'rib, east of the capital, Sana'a, controlled by the Houthis, in the context of the escalation of the conflict that lasted more than 10 days.
On February 15, the Houthi group struck four camps in the eastern city of Ma'rib. As a result, the two sites were completely evacuated. On February 16, the Houthi group targeted the Al-Zour camp for displaced people in the west of the governorate with a ballistic missile and a number of Katyusha rockets, and hours later, the Houthi militia bombed the vicinity of the "Dhana" area, which is inhabited by 700 displaced families. Knowing that the statistics indicate that 655 Yemeni families were displaced during the second week of February 2021 due to the escalation of the conflict.
For his part, Ayman Aqil, President of Maat Foundation, said that we are extremely concerned about the continued targeting of civilians in Yemen, which exacerbates the humanitarian situation, as the protection of civilians is a customary rule rooted in international humanitarian law that applies in armed conflicts, whether international or non-international. “Civilians enjoy protection from Attacks, unless and for throughout this period they directly participate in hostilities'
In the same context, Nourhan Mustafa, Director of the International Humanitarian Law Unit at the Maat Foundation, confirmed that targeting the camps is a clear violation of the rules of international humanitarian law, specifically Article 51, Paragraph (2) of the First Additional Protocol to the Fourth Geneva Conventions and Article 13, Paragraph (2) of the Second Additional Protocol, which states: That “the civilian population may not be the object of the attack” and also “acts or threats of violence whose primary purpose is to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited.”
The Director of the International Humanitarian Law Unit also called on the UN Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen to expedite the investigation of the crimes committed by the Houthi group, which clearly and explicitly violate the commitment to the rules of international humanitarian law related to the protection of civilians, and urges the parties to the conflict to abide by the aforementioned legal rules.