House members push for UN oversight of Yemen atrocities: The Intercept
The Intercept website reports on congressional Democrats pushing to reestablish oversight of atrocities committed during the Saudi-led coalition’s war in Yemen.
A report published by The Intercept website on november 21 said that "a group of congressional Democrats led by Reps. Ilhan Omar and Joaquin Castro is pushing to reestablish oversight of atrocities committed during the Saudi-led coalition’s war in Yemen," amid a shift in the relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia.
Tensions have been rising between the US and Saudi Arabia "since President Joe Biden came into office promising to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for the killing of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi," the report said, adding that last week, it emerged that Biden "requested sovereign immunity for Mohammed bin Salman," in the lawsuit over Khashoggi’s murder, and on Monday, "OPEC+, the coalition of oil-producing countries heavily influenced by Saudi Arabia, announced it would increase oil production, fulfilling a long-term ask by the Biden administration."
Asked about these developments, Omar said, “Our foreign policy should not be based on a dependence on oil or the geopolitical whims of foreign despots. It should be based on the rule of law and human rights.”
The report added that "13 members of the House of Representatives sent a letter asking Secretary of State Antony Blinken and UN Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield to use their influence in these upcoming sessions to push for a reinstatement of the Group of Eminent Experts, or GEE: an independent international oversight body that previously reported on the litany of human rights abuses and war crimes carried out during the war."
The change in the relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia, they argue, "has created an opening for renewed international scrutiny of the war, which has claimed at least 375,000 lives and left the overwhelming majority of Yemen’s residents in 'desperate' condition and dependent on humanitarian aid."
Reinstating the GEE's importance has recently heightened, "after a ceasefire that had previously been brokered expired early last month," the report indicated.
Also, "human rights advocates warned that its partial allowance of Saudi Arabia’s deadly blockade — which is responsible for the lion’s share of the humanitarian catastrophe facing Yemenis — made its preservation untenable," the report said.
It is worth mentioning that a bipartisan group of nearly 50 members of Congress introduced legislation on June 1 to invoke the 1973 War Powers Resolution (WPR) to end unauthorized US military involvement in Saudi Arabia’s brutal war in Yemen, but their efforts failed.
Check out: US senators want to end US involvement in the war on Yemen
In January, Democrat lawmakers demanded that US President Joe Biden clarify the role of the United States in Yemen, in addition to the forms of support Washington is offering the Saudi-led coalition in its war on the country.
The lawmakers have also demanded that Biden avoid taking any steps that would lead to Washington becoming further involved in the devastating seven-year war.
Congressman Ro Khanna, a Democrat representative from California and staunch critic of the war, told the Middle East Eye that the White House needed to end all military support to the Saudi-led coalition effective immediately and focus on diplomacy as a means to put an end to the war.