Sep 10, 2018 13:49 UTC
  • New UN rights chief urges Saudi accountability on civilian deaths in Yemen

The United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet has called on Saudi Arabia to hold to account the perpetrators of deadly airstrikes on civilians in Yemen.

In her maiden speech to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva Monday, the former Chilean president touched on the Saudi airstrike on a bus of children in Sa'ada last month, which left more than 50 people dead. 

Bachelet urged the Saudi military to show greater transparency in their rules of engagement in Yemen which is under an all-out invasion by the kingdom since 2015. 

On Saturday, UN-brokered talks in Geneva collapsed after representatives of the Ansarullah movement were prevented by Saudi Arabia from attending the negotiations.

Yemen is under a blockade of the Saudis who refused to give permission to an Omani plane to land in Sana’a and take the Ansarullah delegation to Geneva for peace talks. 

UN envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths told a news conference that the Ansarullah were “keen” to get to Geneva. "They would have liked to get here. We didn't make conditions sufficiently correct to get them here," he said.

Reports on Monday said some 84 people have been killed in Saudi airstrikes and clashes around Yemen’s strategic port city of Hudaydah since the failure of the peace talks.

The last round of Yemen peace talks held in Kuwait in 2016 in a bid to hammer out a “power-sharing” deal also fell apart after the Saudi-backed side left the venue.

Some 15,000 Yemenis have been killed and thousands more injured since the onset of the Saudi aggression on Yemen.