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Ousted Yemeni regime expels U.N. officials for documenting Saudi war crimes

8 January 2016 18:28


UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday condemned the Yemeni ousted government’s decision to expel the leading UN rights official in the country. Yemen’s exiled foreign ministry accused George Abu al-Zulof of “lacking impartiality” in his assessments of the human rights situation in the country and declared him persona non grata. The office of the UN high commissioner for human rights said Tuesday that its staff in Yemen had found remnants of 29 cluster bombs during a field visit in Haradh district in the northwest.

Saudi-led coalition using cluster bombs against Yemenis The decision came just days after the United Nations raised alarm over the use of cluster bombs by the Saudi-led coalition which has been since March in 2015 waging a brutal war against Yemen.

Ban said in a statement that he has “full confidence” in Zulof and urged the ousted government “to reconsider its position on his expulsion.” Ban said the exiled government was failing to uphold its obligations by “impeding the United Nations human rights work.” The people of Yemen have suffered “grave human rights violations” and the UN rights office is “actively and effectively helping to document these violations,” Ban said.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric earlier described the decision to expel Zulof as “an extremely regrettable development” and praised the official for doing an “excellent job.” Ban added that he was extremely concerned about the safety of the remaining national and international staff. Yemen has been since March 26 under brutal aggression by Saudi-led coalition. Thousands have been martyred and injured in the attack, with the vast majority of them are civilians. Riyadh launched the attack on Yemen in a bid to restore power to fugitive president Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi who is a close ally to Saudi Arabia.

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