Yemen FM Urges World to Focus on Saudi, Emirati War Crimes

In interview, Sharaf promises war criminals will be held accountable

A new interview on DW Conflict Zone features Yemeni National Salvation Government (NSG) Foreign Minister Hisham Sharaf, focusing on war crimes in Yemen over the course of the six year war. The NSG is the Sanaa-based government involving the Houthis and other parties opposed to the Saudi invasion.

The interview was extremely contentious, with Sharaf objecting to the characterization of himself as a Houthi, noting he is part of the GPC Party and that a lot of figures in the NSG are not Houthis. He also criticized efforts to paint the war crimes of the Houthis as the chief problem in Yemen.

Sharaf called for the world to focus on crimes committed by Saudi and Emirati forces, emphasizing hundreds of thousands of Yemenis killed by airstrikes, and insisting that the war crimes were ultimately their fault for starting the war. “We will continue the war if they don’t withdraw from our country,” Sharif noted.

The interviewer suggested that there was a lack of accountability on the Houthi side, and cited several UN reports on crimes by their forces. Sharaf addressed some of the allegations, but also claimed not to have gotten UN reports on some of them. He suggested investigation and accountability would be easier if the NSG was allowed to fly out of the capital of Sanaa.

Sharaf also sought to emphasize the problem beyond direct participants in the war, attributing international media hostility to the interests of nations like the United States and Britain having provided such a large amount of the bombs dropped on Yemen and being effectively responsible for the killings.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.