Yemeni government declines to extend UN panel's mandate

By Mohamed al-Samei

ADEN, Yemen (AA) – The Yemeni government on Thursday declined to extend the mandate of a UN “panel of experts” tasked with monitoring rights violations in the war-torn country.

In a statement, the government voiced its “disappointment” with the panel, accusing it of “politicization that only further complicates the situation”.

The statement, which was carried by Yemeni news agency SABA, claimed that recent reports released by the panel were “biased in favor of the Houthi militia”.

The government went on to accuse the panel of “lacking professionalism and impartiality, and violating UN principles”.

In September of last year, the UN Human Rights Council brought together a group of prominent international and regional experts with a knowledge of humanitarian law.

The group was tasked with conducting a “comprehensive study” of alleged human rights violations “committed by all parties to the conflict” since 2014, when Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including capital of Sanaa.

The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies launched a wide-ranging air campaign in Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi gains.

The ongoing violence has devastated Yemen’s basic infrastructure, prompting the UN to describe the situation as “one of the worst humanitarian disasters of modern times”.

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