Saudis Worried About 'Timing' of Independent Investigation into Yemen Atrocities

The leader of Yemen's Ansarullah movement Abdul Malik al-Houthi delivers a televised speech from the Yemeni capital Sana’a

The leader of Yemen's Ansarullah movement Abdul Malik al-Houthi delivers a televised speech from the Yemeni capital Sana’a

Saudi Arabia has insisted the time is not right for an independent worldwide inquiry into the war in Yemen, despite growing evidence of human rights violations caused by the Saudi-led campaign against the Houthis.

"We are working together to hopefully come to a compromise", he said.

In a joint open letter a year ago, Human Rights Watch and other NGOs called for the HRC to "establish an worldwide, independent mechanism to investigate alleged serious violations and abuses of global human rights and humanitarian law committed" in Yemen.

For the past two years the 47-member Human Rights Council has rejected the Dutch demand for an global probe and backed the Saudi view that favors a Yemeni commission.

"They will face tremendous obstacles in terms of access", he added.

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Canada and the Netherlands are backing the idea of an worldwide inquiry, but Al-Wasil said a national investigation by Yemen's National Commission would be preferable.

United Nations human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein has long called for an independent worldwide inquiry into the aggression and says Yemen's National Commission is not up to the job of investigating the situation.

The Saudi-led coalition on Tuesday said its own investigation showed that a series of deadly airstrikes it had carried out in Yemen had been largely justified.

"The minimal efforts made towards accountability over the past year are insufficient to respond to the gravity of the continuing and daily violations involved in this conflict", Zeid said in a speech in Geneva.

Yemen has remained in a state of war since 2014, when the Houthis and their allies overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa, forcing Hadi's government to set up a provisional capital in the coastal city of Aden.

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