Riyadh Says Time Not Ripe for Int’l Yemen Probe
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The time is not right for an independent international inquiry into human rights violations in Yemen, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador in Geneva said on Wednesday, responding to calls from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The Netherlands and Canada are backing a resolution at the UN Human Rights Council mandating an international inquiry, but Saudi Ambassador Abdulaziz Alwasil claimed a national Yemeni commission would be in a better position to investigate.
“We are working together to hopefully come to a compromise,” Alwasil told reporters, according to Reuters.
“We have no objection to the inquiry itself, we just have a discussion about the timing, whether this is the right time to establish an international commission, with the difficulties on the ground,” Alwasil said.
UN human rights chief Zeid Ra‘ad al-Hussein has long called for an independent international inquiry into the aggression and says Yemen’s National Commission is not up to the job of investigating the situation.
Zeid said on Monday there had been only “minimal” efforts at holding people to account in what the United Nations has branded the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
For the past two years the 47-member Human Rights Council has rejected the Dutch demand for an international probe and backed the Saudi view that favors a Yemeni commission.
Alwasil said he again expected the Council to back its stance, adding that a locally formed commission would have better access and connections around the country.
The Saudi envoy said the international community should focus its efforts on gaining access for humanitarian personnel.
Yemen’s defenseless people have been under massive attacks by a Saudi-led coalition for more than two years.
Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and some of its Arab allies have been carrying out deadly airstrikes against the Houthi Ansarullah movement in an attempt to restore power to Yemen’s fugitive former president.
Over 12,000 Yemenis, including thousands of women and children, have lost their lives in the deadly military campaign.