Saudis Halt UN Inquiry on Yemen

Saudis Halt UN Inquiry on Yemen Saudis Halt UN Inquiry on Yemen

Western governments have been stopped in their tracks with plans for a UN inquiry into the Yemen war dropped.

A number of western countries had instructed the United Nations high commissioner for human rights to send experts to Yemen to investigate the conduct of the war, however a withdrawal was notified by the Netherlands, World Bulletin reported.

That proposal was a follow-up to recommendations by the commissioner, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, who detailed in a report this month the heavy civilian loss of life.

To the dismay of human rights groups, and facing resistance from Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners, western governments have accepted a resolution based on a Saudi text that lacks any reference to an independent, international inquiry.

Alternatively a new resolution supports a decree, issued by the exiled Yemeni president Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi–who is supported by Saudi–appointing a national commission of inquiry. The decree asks the United Nations human rights office only “to provide technical assistance and to work with the government of Yemen, as required, in the field of capacity building.”

“The result is a lost opportunity for the council and a huge victory for Saudi Arabia, protecting it from scrutiny over laws of war violations which will probably continue to be committed in Yemen,” said Philippe Dam, deputy director of Human Rights Watch in Geneva.

Rupert Colville, spokesperson for UNHCHR, said the coalition was “indubitably responsible” for the blockade of Yemen’s ports, which was “greatly exacerbating the extremely dire humanitarian situation affecting almost all of Yemen.”