Calls by the UN human rights chief to set up an international inquiry into war crimes committed in the Saudi War in Yemen are nothing new. A sudden endorsement of the move by China may give this effort a new lease on life, however, after being quietly killed in recent years.
This is the third straight year right chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein had made such a call, and the last two times, the US and Saudi Arabia buried the idea, agreeing the Saudis could investigate themselves in the war. The civilian deaths have continued to mount.
The latest draft, from Canada and the Netherlands, was seen as likely heading to the same fate, but China’s endorsement, and declaration that they believe the resolution might help push end the war, gives it yet more credibility.
Saudi Arabia is backing its own, more-of-the-same resolution, which the US is said to favor. US officials say they want “consensus” to result from any investigation, and don’t think an independent investigation could get there.