Saudi Arabia rejects call for independent United Nations probe into Yemen

Members of al Houthi group sit while guarding a group meeting in Sanaa

Members of al Houthi group sit while guarding a group meeting in Sanaa

"We are working together to hopefully come to a compromise", said Abdulaziz Al-Wasil, Saudi Arabia's envoy to Geneva.

In a joint open letter a year ago, Human Rights Watch and other NGOs called for the HRC to "establish an worldwide, independent mechanism to investigate alleged serious violations and abuses of global human rights and humanitarian law committed" in Yemen.

The U.N. human rights chief, Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, is calling for an independent global probe into the high levels of civilian casualties, however Saudi Arabia has been resistant to the idea.

"We have no objection to the inquiry itself, we just have a discussion about the timing, whether this is the right time to establish an global commission, with the difficulties on the ground", Alwasil said.

"They will face tremendous obstacles in terms of access", he added.

The Saudi representative to the United Nations human rights council in Geneva, Abdulaziz Alwasil, said a national Yemeni commission was in a better position to investigate the war, and said he hoped for a "compromise" with the United Nations high commissioner of human rights' demands for an independent probe.

The time is not right for an independent worldwide inquiry into human rights violations in Yemen, as demanded by the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights, Saudi Arabia's ambassador in Geneva said on Wednesday.

"The minimal efforts made towards accountability over the past year are insufficient to respond to the gravity of the continuing and daily violations involved in this conflict", Zeid said in a speech in Geneva.

The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched a massive air campaign aimed at reversing Houthi military gains and shoring up Hadi's embattled pro-Saudi government.

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