Saudi security forces have killed hundreds of Ethiopian migrants and asylum seekers attempting to cross the country’s border with Yemen, Human Rights Watch said, shooting people at close range and firing explosive weapons at groups in the mountains in what could amount to crimes against humanity.
“If committed as part of a Saudi government policy to murder migrants, these killings would be a crime against humanity,” Human Rights Watch said.
The report accuses Saudi forces — including border guards and specialized units — of killing “hundreds, possibly thousands” of Ethiopians in recent years while subjecting survivors and detainees to torture, rape and other inhumane treatment.
The Saudi Foreign Ministry did not respond to a request for comment. Human Rights Watch said it wrote to multiple Saudi institutions — including the Interior Ministry and the Human Rights Commission — but did not receive a response at the time of publication. In statements to news organizations after the publication of the report, the Saudi government has denied the allegations.
The United States considers Saudi Arabia an important strategic partner — and U.S. service members and personnel have trained Saudi security forces, including border guards, as part of a long-standing security assistance mission there.
A State Department spokesman, speaking on the condition of anonymity under ground rules established by the department, called the report’s findings “concerning” and said Washington had raised its concerns with Riyadh over the allegations. “The Administration has not provided/approved arms sales to the land border guards implicated,” the spokesman said, adding that Yemen border guards do not participate in any U.S. government training.
Disclaimer: Saudi forces killed hundreds of Ethiopians at Yemen border, report says By Sarah Dadouch - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Latheefarook.com point-of-view