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Friday, 29 September 2017

UN to send war crimes investigators to Yemen

war crimes investigators to Yemen
The UN Human Rights Council agreed Friday to send war crimes investigators to Yemen, overcoming resistance from Saudi Arabia which sought to fend off an independent international probe.

In a resolution adopted by consensus, the council mandated UN rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein to send a group of "eminent experts" to Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition had been bombing Huthi rebels since March 2015.

The group will then "carry out a comprehensive examination of all alleged violations and abuses of international human rights" committed in the conflict and try "to identify those responsible."

Launching the probe marks a victory for a group of European states and Canada which pushed hard for an international inquiry fully independent of the Yemeni national investigation, which the Saudis support.

The Saudi-led coalition has been accused of bombing schools, markets, hospitals and other civilian targets in support of Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.

The Iran-backed Huthi rebels have also been accused of major violations, which the UN team will also probe.

Saudi Arabia had for the past two years succeeded in blocking the rights chief's call for an international investigation.

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