On January 31st 2016, Houthi rebels launched a rocket into a small home in Najran. The rocket killed an 11-year-old child and wounded an additional nine people. Saudi Arabia’s Civil Defense confirmed that the rocket fired came from within Yemen and detonated within the home of a Saudi family living near the southern border. Lieutenant Colonel Ali bin Omair al-Shahrani told the Saudi Press Agency that the child died instantly and the family was immediately transported to the nearest medical facility. Increased rocket activity on Saudi Arabia’s southern border resulted in the deaths of around 90 people since March 2015.
The reoccurrence of airstrikes on the Saudi-Yemeni border raises doubts that a peaceful solution in Yemen is near. Since March 2015, airstrikes killed over 375 civilians and 63 children in Saudi Arabia. With airstrikes consistently resulting in civilian casualties, the UN has called the situation a crisis that includes crimes against humanity. In a report conducted by UN experts regarding the human rights situation in Yemen, UN officials cited over 119 violations of international humanitarian law between the two warring parties on the Saudi-Yemen border. These clear violations of international humanitarian law have led human rights activists and organizations to repeatedly call for states and affiliated parties to respect the universal human rights of all individuals.
William Jay is an advocacy intern at ADHRB.