‘We have failed Yemen’: UN human rights council ends war crime probe

Defeat for western states as Bahrain, Russia and other nations push through vote to shut down investigations

A Yemeni man walks through the debris of a destroyed building in Sana’a, Yemen’s largest city. Photograph: Yahya Arhab/EPA

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.”

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About Cholo Brooks 15575 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.

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