Dutch, allies drop call for inquiry into Yemen rights abuses


The leading United Nations human rights body on Friday approved a compromise resolution calling for a group of "eminent global and regional experts" to monitor and report on rights abuses in Yemen, overcoming diplomatic wrangling to strike a deal to impose the highest level of scrutiny over a largely overlooked war in the Arab world's poorest country.

Launching the probe marks a victory for a group of European states and Canada which pushed hard for an worldwide inquiry fully independent of the Yemeni national investigation, which the Saudis support.

The Saudi-led coalition has been accused of bombing schools, markets, hospitals and other civilian targets in support of Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.

On Sept. 5, the U.N. Human Rights Council issued a report charging that human rights violations and abuses continue unabated in Yemen, along with unrelenting violations of global humanitarian law, with civilians suffering deeply from the consequences of an "entirely man-made catastrophe".

The move will be seen as a victory for rights group, who have called for an worldwide investigation into allegations of warn crimes in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is accused of committing war crimes as part of a campaign against the Houthis.

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In a letter leaked to several media outlets this week, the kingdom threatened economic and diplomatic retaliation against council members who would vote in favour of the EU/Canadian proposal.

A controversial member of the U.N. Human Rights Council on account of its numerous rights violations against women, Shia Muslims, foreign workers, and members of any political opposition, Saudi Arabia had in years past tried to placate critics with inquiries carried out by either the Yemeni government or the Joint Incident Assessment Team (JIAT) made up of a coalition of Gulf Arab countries sympathetic to Saudi.

Countries with significant and lucrative ties to Saudi Arabia, including the US, Britain and France, were reported to be seeking a compromise between the European Union and Arab camps, which were deadlocked through the week on a resolution. "The Human Rights Council finally put in place an worldwide independent mechanism that will bring an unprecedented level of scrutiny to the conduct of all parties to the Yemen war".

Amnesty International called the resolution "a momentous breakthrough that will pave the way for justice for countless victims of human rights abuses and grave violations of international law, including war crimes".

The UAE has urgently responded by providing over $1 billion in 2016 to ease the suffering of the Yemeni people while announcing a humanitarian donation of $100 million during the pledging conference that was held in Geneva on 25th April this year, as well as the establishment of a humanitarian assistance office in Yemen, to ensure the smooth provision of relief and humanitarian aid to Yemenis.

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