Independent investigation needed into Yemen fire: UN

WION Web Team
New DelhiUpdated: Mar 16, 2021, 09:07 PM IST

The emblem of the United Nations. Photograph:(AFP)

Story highlights

Human Rights Watch earlier on Tuesday blamed the March 7 fire on "unidentified projectiles" fired by Yemen's Houthi rebels

United Nations on Tuesday called for an independent probe of Yemen capital fire that killed dozens of migrants in a holding facility. The fire had raged on March 7 in Yemen's capital Sanaa.

"There must be an independent investigation into the cause of the fire," the UN envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, told the Security Council.

Human Rights Watch earlier Tuesday blamed the March 7 fire on "unidentified projectiles" fired by Yemen's Houthi rebels.

Iran-backed Houthi rebels control northern Yemen, including Sanaa.

Griffiths said, "the world was reminded of the plight of the migrant community last week when an extraordinary, horrific fire broke out at a detention facility in Sanaa holding predominantly Ethiopian migrants."

He said that 170 were seriously injured in the fire while dozens were killed.

HRW said detainees had been protesting against overcrowding when camp guards rounded up hundreds of them into a hangar and fired two projectiles into the building.

"The migrants said the first projectile produced a lot of smoke and made their eyes water and sting. The second, which the migrants called a 'bomb,' exploded loudly and started a fire," HRW said. 

"Huthi authorities should urgently engage with Ethiopian authorities whose nationals are languishing in Yemeni detention centres under their control," HRW said.

(With AFP inputs)