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British MPs urge independent inquiry into claims of Saudi war crimes in Yemen

Friday, January 13, 2017 2:59
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5877ac3dc361888d3d8b4567Houthi militants stand in the house of Houthi leader Yahya Aiydh, after Saudi-led air strikes destroyed it in Yemen’s capital Sanaa September 8, 2015. © Khaled Abdullah / Reuters
British politicians have called for an independent investigation into possible breaches in humanitarian law in Yemen’s civil war as Saudi Arabia cannot be expected to lead such an inquiry.

A debate in Parliament over the “ongoing humanitarian crisis in Yemen” saw members on both sides of the House of Commons urging for an end to British arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Riyadh was also criticized for being “too slow” on delivering a report on alleged war crimes, including the intentional targeting of civilian areas.

Yemen, a nation with just under 30 million people, has been mired in civil war since 2015, with a Saudi-led coalition supporting the official government of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi against an Iran-backed Houthi rebellion supporting former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Britain is officially one of Saudi Arabia’s partners in the enterprise providing armaments and military advice.

The debate, led by the Labour chairman of the International Development Select Committee, Stephen Twigg, described an independent inquiry into the alleged breaches as “long overdue” and the progress made by the Saudis on their own investigations as“glacial.”

“The government repeatedly over the last 14 months have been asked about Saudi Arabia’s own investigations,” Twigg said.

“To my knowledge, and the minister may be able to update us today, Saudi Arabia have produced nine reports on violations even though there have been many other allegations made.

“Progress I believe on this is glacial and I find it remarkable that the government still holds the line that Saudi Arabia must take responsibility for investigating its own alleged violations.”

[more…]

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Source: http://www.philosophers-stone.co.uk/?p=17363

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