UN human rights body passes Saudi proposal on Yemen

GENEVA: A leading advocacy group is accusing the top UN human rights body of failing to improve scrutiny of abuses in war-torn Yemen by approving a resolution presented by Saudi Arabia, a major participant in the conflict.

The Human Rights Council vote by consensus calls for Yemen to receive "technical assistance" on improving human rights. The UN estimates that more than 2,200 civilians have died since fighting escalated in Yemen in March, notably involving air power from a US-backed, Saudi-led coalition.

The measure that passed Friday came after Dutch diplomats this week abandoned a separate proposal calling for an international fact-finding mission in Yemen.

Human Rights Watch, in a statement, called the Saudi-led resolution "deeply flawed" and said the Dutch backed down only after "intense pressure from Saudi Arabia."