Published On: Wed, Jul 26th, 2017

UN: Saudi-led alliance responsible for refugee boat attack off Yemen

Araweelo News Network

Bodies of Somali refugees, killed in attack by a helicopter while traveling in a boat off the coast of Yemen, are at the port in Hudaydah, Yemen, March 17, 2017. (Photo by AP

New York(ANN)-UN investigators have censured as a violation of humanitarian law a deadly March attack by the Saudi-led military alliance fighting Yemen on a boat carrying Somali refugees off the coast of the impoverished country.

More than 40 people, including women and children, were killed and dozens of others were wounded after a Saudi-led strike hit the refugee boat near the Bab el-Mandeb Strait in the Red Sea.

The coalition has denied striking the boat near the port of Hudaydah.

This civilian vessel was almost certainly attacked using a 7.62 mm caliber weapon from an armed utility helicopter,” the investigators wrote in a 185-page report to the UN Security Council on Monday, Reuters reported on Wednesday, adding that the helicopter was likely operating from a naval vessel.

The UN report said the attack violated international humanitarian law and threatened the peace, security and stability of Yemen.

Saudi Arabia, along with some of its allies, has been pounding Yemen since March 2015 in a bid to undermined the Houthi Ansarullah movement and reinstate resigned president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

The Saudi-led coalition, which receives US arms and logistical support, includes Riyadh’s allies, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait and Jordan.

The UN investigators said the coalition had become a cover for its members to “hide behind ‘the entity’ of the coalition to shield themselves from state responsibility for violations committed by their forces.”

Attempts to divert responsibility in this manner from individual states to the Saudi Arabia-led coalition may contribute to further violations continuing with impunity,” they wrote.

Human Rights Watch also censured the attack on the Somali refugee boast as a “war crime.”

“The coalition’s apparent firing on a boat filled with fleeing refugees is only the latest likely war crime in Yemen’s two-year-long war,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, the Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, in March.

“Reckless disregard for the lives of civilians has reached a new level of depravity,” she added.

The strike was reportedly carried out by an Apache helicopter, which is only used by Saudi Arabia in the war on Yemen.

About the Author

- #Arraale Mohamoud Jama is a freelance and investigative journalist, writer and human rights activist with more than 20 years of experience. He writes about a range of topics related to social issues such as human rights, politics and security. Other topics in which Mr. Arraale is interested include democracy and good governance. Mr. Arraale has written extensively on regional and international events, and has worked with Somaliland newspapers and Human rights organizations. In 2008, he established #Araweelo #News #website# Network, which he currently manages. For further information, please contact: or Send an SMS or MMS to + 252 63 442 5380 + 252 63 442 5380 /

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