UN to Let Saudis Investigate Themselves on Yemen War Crimes

Saudi Objections Kill Resolution Calling for International Probe

On Sunday, Saudi helicopters attacked a north Yemeni village, killing 30 civilians. The next day they attacked a wedding party in the southwest, killing another 131 civilians. Two such high-profile incidents amid the UN General Assembly meeting seemed to ensure that UN Human Rights Council calls for an inquiry into civilian deaths in Yemen would get through. Incredibly, they didn’t.

Instead, Saudi Arabia started complaining about the idea, and the UN let the matter drop, with the US and several other Western nations that initially signaled support for a resolution on an inquiry, proposed by the Netherlands, jumping ship and backing a competing Saudi text.

The Saudi text calls for an investigation, but empowers the Saudi-led coalition to conduct that investigation, only calling on the UN to offer support to them with “technical assistance,” and then only to the extent they request it.

Essentially this means the Saudis, and their allies in the Yemeni “government-in-exile,” will be investigating themselves on the question of war crimes, meaning that all those official claims that huge, well-documented incidents “didn’t happen” will become the official international narrative.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.