Friday, 28 September 2018

Yemen gov't ends cooperation with UN rights mission

 Yemen's government yesterday announced it will end its cooperation with a U.N. human rights mission, accusing investigators of bias after a report on alleged war crimes.

Yemen gov't ends cooperation with UN rights mission

The government came under fire last month after U.N. experts highlighted deadly air strikes by the regional Saudi-led coalition supporting it in the war with the Iran-linked Houthi rebels.

 "The government refuses to extend the mission's mandate because its findings, outlined in the report, did not meet the standards of professionalism and impartiality or the basic principles of the United Nations," said a statement carried by the state-run Saba news agency, as reported by Agence France-Presse.

 Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) may have been responsible for war crimes in Yemen, U.N. investigators said in a report revealed last month, highlighting deadly air strikes, rampant sexual violence and the recruitment of young children as soldiers during three years of escalating conflict.

The U.N. Human Rights Council also urged the international community to "refrain from providing arms that could be used in the conflict" – an apparent reference to countries, including the United States and Britain, that help arm the Saudi-led coalition, as well as Iran, which the coalition has accused of arming the Houthis.

Yemen has been wracked by conflict since 2014, when Shiite Houthi rebels overran much of the country.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the former defense minister, and Saudi Arabia's allies launched Operation Decisive Storm in March 2015.

Riyadh has accused the rebel group of serving as a proxy force for Iran, Saudi Arabia's arch foe in the region.

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