Military campaigns conducted by a Saudi Arabia-led coalition in Yemen are responsible for more than 60 percent of civilian deaths in the conflict-ridden country, according to a United Nations report unveiled on Tuesday.
The figures, mandated by the UN Human Rights Council and presented by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, detailed that, since Sept. 2014 _ when monitoring began _ at least 5,144 civilians were killed in the conflict, of which 3,233 were killed by Saudi coalition forces.
?In many cases, information obtained [...] suggested that civilians may have been directly targeted, or that operations were conducted heedless of their impact on civilians without regard to the principles of distinction, proportionality and precautions in attack," the report said.
Some 1,184 children have been killed in the Yemen conflict so far, the UN said, and around 8,749 civilians have been left injured, of which 1,541 were chlidren.
The UN denounced the Yemen conflict as an "entirely man-made catastrophe."
Not only had airstrikes targeted markets, hospitals, schools and residential areas; but in the last year, they had also hits funeral gatherings and civilian boats, the report said.
?The reticence of the international community in demanding justice for the victims of the conflict in Yemen is shameful, and in many ways contributing to the continuing horror," said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein.
On the ground, fighting continued unabated between the Houthi rebel forces and factions loyal to the embattled President Abdullah Saleh.
Some 67 percent of the 1,702 reports of child soldier recruitment could be directly attributed to those opposing armed forces, the UN said, adding that human rights monitors had witnessed minors as young as 10 years old armed and manning checkpoints.
The report said that 18.8 million Yemenis were in need of humanitarian aid, while 7.3 million were on the brink of famine.
The humanitarian crisis was a direct result of the actions taken by the warring parties in the conflict.
Zeid called on the international community to take action by setting up an independent investigative committee to address the widespread allegations of human rights abuses in Yemen, considering that the National Commission in Yemen currently charged with collecting such data is not perceived to be impartial.
Civil war erupted in Yemen in 2015 when Houthi insurgents ousted President Saleh from the capital, Sana'a.
Pro-Saleh forces have been locked in brutal fighting with the Houthis ever since and receive backing from the Saudi-led coalition, which opposes the Shiite militia for both religious and geopolitical reasons.