Defeat for western states as Bahrain, Russia and other nations push through vote to shut down investigations
Bahrain, Russia and other members of the UN human rights council have pushed through a vote to shut down the body’s war crimes investigations in Yemen, in a stinging defeat for western states who sought to keep the mission going.
Members narrowly voted to reject a resolution led by the Netherlands to give the independent investigators another two years to monitor atrocities in Yemen’s conflict.
It marked the first time in the council’s 15-year history that a resolution was defeated.
The independent investigators have said in the past that potential war crimes have been committed by all sides in the seven-year conflict that has pitted a Saudi-led coalition against Iran-allied Houthi rebels.
More than 100,000 people have been killed and 4 million have been displaced, activist groups say.
The Dutch ambassador, Peter Bekker, said the vote was a major setback. “I cannot help but feel that this council has failed the people of Yemen,” he told delegates.
“With this vote, the council has effectively ended its reporting mandate; it has cut this lifeline of the Yemeni people to the international community.”