Procedure : 2018/2853(RSP)
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Document selected : B8-0444/2018

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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0444/2018

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on the situation in Yemen (2018/2853(RSP))

Charles Tannock, Geoffrey Van Orden, Anna Elżbieta Fotyga, Raffaele Fitto, Karol Karski, Bolesław G. Piecha, Ruža Tomašić, Urszula Krupa, Jadwiga Wiśniewska, Valdemar Tomaševski on behalf of the ECR Group

European Parliament resolution on the situation in Yemen (2018/2853(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on the situation in Yemen, including that of 30 November 2017(1),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions on the situation in Yemen, including those of 25 June 2018,

–  having regard to United Nations Security Council resolutions 2216, 2266, 2342 and 2402 on the situation in Yemen,

–  having regard to the statement by the President of the United Nations Security Council of 15 March 2018 on the situation in Yemen,

–  having regard to the joint statement by Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, and Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, of 4 August 2018 on airstrikes in the city of Hodeidah,

–  having regard to the statement by the Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary General for Yemen of 5 September 2018,

–  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,

–  having regard to the Geneva Convention of 1949 and the additional protocols thereto,

–  having regard to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child of 1989, and its Optional Protocol of 2000 on the involvement of children in armed conflict,

–  having regard to the United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons of 1983,

–  having regard to the United Nations Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production, and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines, and on their Destruction of September 1997,

–  having regard to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court,

–  having regard to the statement by the Executive Director of the World Food Programme of 19 September 2018,

–  having regard to the decision of the UN Human Rights Council of September 2017 to investigate all alleged human rights abuses in Yemen during the conflict,

–  having regard to Rule 123 of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas Yemen has been devastated by four years of increasingly complex civil war, which has left 23 million people in need of humanitarian support, more than two million people internally displaced, eight million people on the verge of famine, 13 600 people dead and more than 40 000 people injured; whereas it is estimated that more than 50 000 people have died as a result of famine caused by the war;

B.  whereas the conflict started in 2015 when Iran-backed Shia Houthi rebels ousted the country’s internationally recognised president, who subsequently drew in a multinational coalition led by Saudi Arabia to fight the rebels and those troops allied to them;

C.  whereas the war has led to the destruction of infrastructure and the collapse of Yemen’s economy, and has caused widespread disruption to basic commodities and to the supply of utilities, sanitation, and clean drinking water;

D.  whereas the conflict in Yemen has caused the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, posed global security threats and fuelled regional tensions;

E.  whereas in August 2018 a report compiled by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights concluded that there are ‘reasonable grounds to believe’ that all parties to the conflict in Yemen may have committed war crimes;

F.  whereas forces on both sides of the war have been accused of firing heavy weapons into built-up and highly populated areas, including strikes on hospitals and other non-military structures; whereas the Houthi rebels have also fired across international boundaries, aiming deliberately at built-up civilian areas and deliberately positioning artillery and rockets on the grounds of hospitals and schools;

G.  whereas the actions of all parties, as reflected in a draft UN list, have led to the killing and maiming of children;

H.  whereas since June, a coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates has been trying to recover the strategic port city of Hodeidah, captured by Houthi rebels in 2015; whereas Save the Children has reported hundreds of civilian casualties during this operation;

I.  whereas Houthi rebels have been accused of causing mass civilian casualties in their siege of Taiz, Yemen’s third-largest city; whereas they have waged a war of attrition against civilian populations in government-controlled areas;

J.  whereas in February 2018 Russia vetoed a UN Security Council resolution highlighting Iranian involvement in the conflict, Iran’s arms embargo violations, and its failure to prevent the transfer of banned weapons to Houthi rebels;

K.  whereas the war in Yemen has opened up space for extremist groups, including al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, to extend their reach, thereby threatening the wider region; whereas weapons supplied by Iran to the Houthi rebels could end up in the hands of other terrorist groups;

L.  whereas it is reported that Hezbollah has been directly training Houthi rebels and overseeing rebel units in Yemen; whereas members of the Iran-backed Shia terror group have reportedly been killed during the conflict;

M.  whereas the war in Yemen has its roots in the exploitation of economic and social discontent, fuelling division and violence;

N.  whereas UN-sponsored talks aimed at establishing peace in Yemen have so far failed to end the conflict;

O.  whereas in April 2018 the UN and the governments of Sweden and Switzerland convened a high-level pledging event in Geneva, boosting international aid to tackle the humanitarian crisis in Yemen to more than USD 2.4 billion for 2018, with Saudi Arabia (USD 726 million) and the UAE (USD 645 million) being the largest donors, followed by the UK (USD 212 million), Kuwait (USD 202 million), the US (USD 191 million), ECHO/European Commission (USD 100.6 million) Germany (USD 45 million) and more than 30 other pledgers;

P.  whereas Yemen is one of the most food insecure countries in the world, with vulnerable populations in one out of three districts facing heightened risk of famine, and 8.4 million people classified as severely food insecure and at risk of starvation;

Q.  whereas a stable, peaceful Yemen is critical to international efforts to tackle extremism and violence in the region and more widely, as well as to Yemen itself;

1.  Deplores the continuing war in Yemen, the loss of life and the targeting of and impact on innocent civilians, as well as the cost to the country’s economy, infrastructure and future;

2.  Believes that sustainable peace in Yemen can only be achieved through negotiations, with the meaningful participation of all declared parties, and supports the immediate resumption of talks under the auspices of the United Nations, with a view to creating a peaceful, pluralistic, prosperous Yemen in the interests of all its citizens, as well as of regional stability;

3.  Insists that all parties to the conflict in Yemen fulfil their obligations under international law regarding access to humanitarian aid, the protection of civilians and international human rights law, and calls for accountability for those found to have failed to do so; notes the commitments made by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to ensure that ‘civilians and civilian objects are protected in accordance with the principles of international humanitarian law’ and the efforts it makes to avoid civilian casualties;

4.  Reminds all parties to the conflict of their responsibilities under international law and conventions regarding the transfer and use of armaments, and the imposition of specific targeted measures against individuals and entities;

5.  Condemns arbitrary detention, torture and ill-treatment throughout Yemen, and demands that effective, impartial, independent investigations into alleged human rights abuses and war crimes be carried out; calls, furthermore, for those accused of committing such crimes to face due process in accordance with international law;

6.  Supports the work of the United Nations Envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, and the EU Commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis management, in seeking to end the conflict and provide support to those affected by it;

7.  Is deeply concerned at the rebel seizure of the port of Hodeidah and the impact thereof on its civilian population, recognising the vital significance of this Red Sea port;

8.  Reminds all parties to the conflict that hospital and medical personnel are explicitly protected under international humanitarian law, and that the deliberate targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure constitutes a war crime; condemns the deliberate firing by the Houthi rebels of artillery and rockets from hospital and school sites;

9.  Recognises the need to protect the UNESCO world heritage site of the old city of Sana’a, and calls for the avoidance of further destruction; notes the commitment by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to avoid all destructive attacks on Sana’a;

10.  Condemns the launch of Iranian-built ballistic missiles by the Houthi rebels against targets in Saudi Arabia, including in civilian areas, and their indiscriminate use of sea mines and internationally banned anti-personnel landmines;

11.  Condemns the further transfer of weapons technologies to the Houthi rebels by Iran, including radio-controlled improvised explosive devices (RCIEDs);

12.  Deplores reports of the use of child soldiers, mainly by the Houthi rebels, in the conflict in Yemen, and reminds all parties of their responsibilities in this regard under international laws and conventions;

13.  Notes that the UN Security Council’s Panel of Experts has presented evidence of Iran’s involvement in the conflict, its arms embargo violations and its failure to prevent the transfer of banned armaments to the Houthi rebels;

14.  Welcomes the international commitments made at the April 2018 high-level pledging event to support humanitarian aid efforts in Yemen and stresses the need for coordinated action, led by the UN, to ease the suffering of civilians affected by the conflict; welcomes the commitments by the Saudi-led Yemen Comprehensive Humanitarian Operations (YCHO) to provide Yemen with humanitarian aid and supplies;

15.  Notes that the UN Security Council has stated its support for the UN Verification and Inspection Mechanism (UNVIM), and encourages the full and unhindered implementation of its mandate;

16.  Demands guarantees to facilitate the flow of humanitarian goods, as well as medical evacuations, in the areas of conflict;

17.  Welcomes the opening of Yemeni ports by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to humanitarian aid; encourages the Saudis to allow third parties and appropriate NGOs access to these secure ports;

18.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the EEAS, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the President of Yemen, the Yemeni House of Representatives, and the Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council.



Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0473.

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