SANA’A (Dispatches) – A Yemeni official has blasted a recent decision by the UN Human Rights Council to ditch its group of experts investigating abuses and Saudi war crimes in Yemen, saying that the world body only understands the language of money, and has no respect whatsoever for law and regulations.
“The United Nations has shown its resolutions are based on the amount of financial aids it receives, and regulations have no place in its decision-making,” deputy foreign minister in Yemen’s National Salvation Government Hussein al-Azi said on Saturday, lamenting the measure as “unfortunate”.
The UN Human Rights Council ended on Thursday the investigation into war crimes by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen amid reports of intense lobbying by Riyadh.
The 47-member council voted against renewing the mandate of the Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts on Yemen (GEE) on Thursday, which in August 2018 reported evidence of possible war crimes committed by the Saudi-led coalition. 21 countries voted against the motion, 18 in favor and seven abstained.
“The vote against renewing the mandate of the UN team of inspectors is a concrete proof that statements made by the Sana’a government regarding the crimes of the Saudi-led coalition are entirely correct, while the alliance tends to make baseless allegations against Sana’a,” Azi said.
“The UN would not have canceled investigation into abuses in Yemen and would not have end the mandate of its inspection team, if it were not for the sake of the Sake coalition.”
The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) decried the result on “intense lobbying” by the Riyadh regime.
CIHRS said the vote amounted to “a blatant attempt by Saudi and its allies to ensure blanket impunity for themselves after having been linked to war crimes and other grave violations of international law in the country.”
“Today’s vote represents a grave failure – one that will inevitably lead to more violence and suffering in Yemen,” Jeremie Smith, director of the CIHRS Geneva office, said.
He added, “States that voted against the renewal or abstained have chosen to appease Saudi Arabia instead of protecting the lives of millions.”
Saudi Arabia, backed by the U.S. and regional allies, launched the war on Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of former Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing popular Ansarullah resistance movement.
The war has left hundreds of thousands of Yemenis dead, and displaced millions more. It has also destroyed Yemen’s infrastructure and spread famine and infectious diseases.