UAE describes UNHCHR report on situation of human rights in Yemen as biased, unrealistic

GENEVA, 26th September 2018 (WAM) – The United Arab Emirates has rejected the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) on the situation of human rights in Yemen, saying it had not provided an objective background of the conflict, including the coup d’état, organised and carried out by the Houthis against the legitimate Yemeni Government, who sought the assistance of friendly countries as allowed by the international laws.

Addressing an interactive discussion on the report, held today as part of the Human Rights Council’s 39th session, Obaid Salem Al Zaabi, UAE Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, expressed UAE’s support to the statements of the Arab Group and the Coalition countries and its rejection of the findings of the Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen.

“The report put Houthi militias on an equal footing with other parties. It even used the term “de facto authorities” to describe them, which gives them some sort of legitimacy. This is untrue and unacceptable,” Al Zaabi said.

He also referred to the report detailing military operations, which falls outside the group’s jurisdictions as the experts are not qualified to assess the situation in Yemen from military and security perspectives. He also described the report as “unrealistic” because it is impossible for a 3-man group to assess a situation as complex as that of Yemen in just five months.

Al Zaabi noted that the Group of Experts based their investigations about human rights violations on their personal assessment, without consideration to the information provided by the Coalition on the violations committed by the Houthi coup rebels.

“The report also overlooked the positive role played by the Coalition in providing humanitarian assistance and protecting the civilians from the Houthis atrocities,as well as the efforts of the Yemeni Government and of the Coalition’s Joint Incident Assessment Team in containing the crisis,” he stated.

He added that the report also failed to mention the relevant Security Council’s resolutions, including Resolution 2216 which gives the Coalition forces a number of authorities.

In this context, Al Zaabi voiced his concern and astonishment at the Group, which he said was given a full trust in the hope that it would reach fair and realistic conclusions that could contribute to reaching a settlement to the situation in Yemen.

Instead, he went on, the report of the Group of Eminent Experts rather contributed to complicating and prolonging the crisis. Additionally, the Group had a narrow outlook in anaylsing the situation by focusing on the human rights, ignoring the fact that the conflict has other inter-connected military, security, geo-political and geo-strategic aspects.

“Any attempt to reach a settlement to this conflict has to take into consideration all the aspects,” he concluded.

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