Human rights groups expressed disappointment with the withdrawal of the proposal.
“The question is really what happened — and why is Saudi Arabia simply off the hook for massive bombing affecting civilian life and (that) probably may constitute war crimes?” said Philippe Dam, deputy director for Human Rights Watch in Geneva.
The U.S. briefly expressed support for the Dutch resolution, but it seems that this support was meaningless. In its place there will be a Saudi-sponsored resolution that calls for providing “technical assistance” to the Hadi government, which will then report back on the situation. Nothing could be better designed to ensure that the report on human rights abuses in Yemen will whitewash the Saudi-led coalition’s crimes and cover up for the campaign that is aimed at putting Hadi back in power.
It took just a few days for the Saudis to make a mockery of Samantha Power’s assertion on Sunday that Saudi Arabia’s position on the Human Rights Council was purely a “procedural” one that would have no bearing on “anything the United Nations does on any human rights issue.” The Saudis won’t have to worry about the Hadi government reporting on their crimes, since it has every incentive to deny them or pin them on the government’s opponents. Meanwhile, human rights organizations and journalists will continue to document what the coalition is doing to Yemeni civilians with the Obama administration’s backing.