United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said that there must be accountability for the "appalling conduct" of the ongoing war on Yemen after a recent Saudi airstrike left over 140 civilians dead and prompted global condemnations.
"Aerial attacks by the Saudi-led coalition have already caused immense carnage, and destroyed much of the country's medical facilities and other vital civilian infrastructure," Ban told reporters on Monday, adding, "More broadly, there must be accountability for the appalling conduct of this entire war."
More than 140 people lost their lives and over 525 others sustained injuries on October 8 when Saudi military aircraft struck a hall in the Yemeni capital Sana’a where rows of people were attending a funeral.
Some 10,000 people have so far been killed in the Saudi war on Yemen, according to the United Nations (UN).
The war launched in an unsuccessful attempt to restore power to Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a Saudi ally who has resigned as Yemen’s president but seeks to forcefully return to power.
The war has done incredible harm both to the civilian population in the country as well as its critical infrastructure.
UN rights chief calls for an international probe into Saudi airstrike
Meanwhile, UN Human Rights Chief Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein in a statement released on Monday strongly denounced the Saturday airstrike, saying that the bombing of the funeral showed that violations continued unpunished.
"Such outrageous attacks cannot be allowed to continue," the UN rights chief said.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights also renewed his call for an international probe into possible war crimes committed in Yemen.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Zeid pointed out that countries belonging to the Human Rights Council had contributed to "a climate of impunity" in Yemen by failing to investigate adequately.
The council last month declined to set up an independent inquiry into abuses in Yemen.
The council last month declined to set up an independent inquiry into abuses in Yemen. Saudi Arabia is among the 47 member states of the forum.
"The Human Rights Council's inability to take decisive action by setting up an international investigation is contributing to a climate of impunity, and violations continue to occur on a regular basis," Zeid said.
However, the council voted to support a Yemeni probe that reports to Hadi - a decision decried by human rights activists.
Zeid also said that in just the first 10 days of October, at least 369 civilians have been killed or injured, tripling the rate of September which recorded 379 casualties for the entire month. He also stressed that the latest deadly aerial raid could cause a further escalation.
Saudi Arabia has repeatedly been condemned for its indiscriminate targeting of the Yemeni population.
On Sunday evening, the leader of Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement condemned the Saudi funeral attack, saying the assault points to the frustration of the United States and the Saudi regime in the war on the impoverished Arab country.
The US has been supporting the Saudi regime in the war on Yemen.
Abdul-Malik al-Houthi said Saudi Arabia and its regional allies would not have carried out the Saturday airstrike if they had not received the green light from Washington.
Russia, Canada and several other countries have urged investigation into Saudi airstrike on the funeral site in Yemen.