UN agrees to investigate alleged war crimes in Yemen

The United Nations has agreed to establish a group of eminent experts to examine all allegations of war crimes and potential human rights violations committed in the conflict in Yemen, and to identify those responsible.

In a last-minute compromise hammered out between Western powers and Arab countries, the UN Human Rights Council adopted by consensus without a vote, a resolution which the Yemen delegation said it accepted.

“A credible international investigation is necessary in order to comprehensively, transparently, independently and impartially establish facts and circumstances surrounding violations with a view to put an end to the cycle of impunity in Yemen,” the Dutch delegate told the forum on behalf of a core group of Western states.

Saudi Arabia and other Arab states presented the amended draft resolution. It will give the strongest international component yet to an examination of rights violations in a country that the UN says faces the world’s greatest humanitarian disaster.

The council resolution capped intense closed-door negotiations to bridge a divide between a version promoted by the Netherlands and Canada, which had sought an international, independent Commission of Inquiry on Yemen, and a less-intrusive Arab proposal.

It was perhaps the most contentious issue during a three-week session.