The AP reports that Saudi diplomats, lobbying at the UN Human Rights Council against the creation of a commission of inquiry into war crimes and rights violations in Yemen, has threatened economic consequences for states that support an inquiry.
Quartz reports that UN humanitarian coordinator Jamie McGoldrick sees little hope for Yemen, anticipating that conditions will get even worse due to a lack of political will to end the war. He anticipates the cholera epidemic will continue to spread, while further outbreaks of meningitis, Dengue fever, and other diseases will accompany January’s rainy season.
Four members of US Congress introduced a resolution that, if passed, would end all US military involvement in the war in Yemen.
Speaking on the Charlie Rose show, former CIA official Michael Morrell claimed that US special forces are working with Saudi and UAE forces “on the ground” in Yemen to fight the Houthis.
Doctors Without Borders reports that Yemen’s government healthcare workers have not received salaries in over a year. The organization urges the international community to resume salary payments, lest the healthcare system collapse entirely.
Reuters reports that the Houthis denied having kidnapped American citizen Danny Burch, and claimed that unknown gunmen were responsible.
After a lengthy debate and intense negotiations, the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution that will create an independent mechanism to investigate human rights and international law violations in Yemen. Human rights organizations and UN officials have long called for the establishment of a commission of inquiry, a proposal officially put forward by the Dutch delegation to the UN. Saudi Arabia and its allies fought to weaken that proposal. The final compromise resolution will create a “Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts” to investigate violations.
Reuters cites an International Committee of the Red Cross study that projects cholera cases in Yemen could reach one million by the end of 2017.
British charity Oxfam reports via the Independent that Yemen’s cholera outbreak, one entirely man-made and avoidable, is set to be the worst on record.
An article in the Huffington Post highlights the problematic role of the UAE in Yemen’s civil war and the fight against AQAP. The UAE is carrying out a large portion of the coalition’s airstrikes in Yemen, which often hit civilians. UAE forces are also running detention centers in southern Yemen where detainees are routinely abused and tortured. Despite this, the UAE enjoys a much better reputation in Washington than does its coalition partner, Saudi Arabia.
Social media sources reported that a Yemeni national, Ahmed Dubba, died while imprisoned at a UAE-run facility in southern Yemen. Dubba’s body showed signs of torture.
The Houthis claim to have shot down a US surveillance drone over San’a. A local Reuters photographer photographed the drone’s wreckage before it was carted off by Houthi fighters.