UN cancels probe into possible war crimes in Yemen

Written by By Saeed Al-Kaabi, CNN The UN’s top human rights body has voted not to renew an investigation into abuses in Yemen after months of political wrangling, falling in line with the stance…

UN cancels probe into possible war crimes in Yemen

Written by By Saeed Al-Kaabi, CNN

The UN’s top human rights body has voted not to renew an investigation into abuses in Yemen after months of political wrangling, falling in line with the stance of Western states against an investigation that they fear could hurt regional stability.

The 40-member Human Rights Council in Geneva voted on Monday 36 to 14 to remove the country from the list of UN states accused of violating international human rights.

The Yemen mission that led the investigation was due to draw up a report later this year with recommendations on how to end the four-year conflict.

But the Western-backed inquiry was partly formed as a way to protect Saudi Arabia, which is leading a coalition backing Yemeni government forces fighting Houthi rebels.

On Monday, it emerged that Britain had just voted with China, Russia and India not to renew the investigation.

Council member countries must vote on whether to renew the investigation every three years. They need at least nine of the 40 votes and will probably ask for another extension.

In May, the council voted 29 to 13 in favor of lifting the investigation, making Yemen the first to be judged in isolation. Western states then started lobbying votes against the Yemeni probe before the vote.

If the report is to be made public, the UN would ask for consensus on a draft text between members and approve it.

The conflict in Yemen — the Arab world’s poorest country — pits Houthi rebels against Yemeni government forces backed by a coalition of Arab states led by Saudi Arabia.

The Houthis control Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, and much of the south, while the government is backed by a Saudi-led coalition led by Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Qatar, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates.

Airstrikes and other attacks attributed to the coalition have killed tens of thousands of civilians since 2015, according to the UN.

Human Rights Watch said last week that nine international aid workers have been killed in attacks on facilities or vehicles carrying aid in Aden since March.

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