Saudi Arabia calls for UN Aramco investigation despite refusal to comply on Yemen, Khashoggi murder

Saudi Arabia calls for UN Aramco investigation despite refusal to comply on Yemen, Khashoggi murder
Saudi Arabia has been criticised over its call for an international investigation into the attacks on its oil facilities after previously rejecting UN investigations into Yemen and the Khashoggi murder.
3 min read
17 September, 2019
Saudi Arabia has broken with tradition in calling for a UN investigation [Getty]
Analysts have accused Saudi Arabia of hypocrisy after the kingdom requested a UN investigation into Saturday's attacks on Saudi oil facilities.

Saudi Arabia will invite international experts, including investigators from the United Nations, to probe the strikes, which were claimed by Yemen's Houthi rebels but have been blamed on Iran by the US.

But activists and researchers were quick to point out that the kingdom has a storied history of rejecting UN investigations.

Saudi Arabia earlier this year rejected the results of the international organisation's investigation into the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Top officials in the kingdom, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, have been accused of masterminding brutal killing of Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October last year.

Saudi Arabia has called the report by UN Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard - which places blame on embassy personnel, military officials and bin Salman - full of "clear contradictions and baseless allegations".

Karren Attiah, Global Opinions Editor at The Washington Post, hit back at the kingdom's call for a UN investigation over the strikes.

"So Saudi rejected any UN or international investigation into Jamal #Khashoggi's murder. Said it refused to "internationalize" the incident," wrote Attiah, who has become a fierce advocate for Khashoggi, whose articles she used to edit.

"But now wants a quick UN investigation after oil field attack."

Others pointed to the kingdom's categorical rejection of an independent UN investigation into the war in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia has since 2015 helmed an international coalition fighting the Houthi rebels in Yemen.

But Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners have been accused of war crimes in the conflict, in which coalition bombing has seen the deaths of thousands of civilians and brought millions to the brink of starvation

"So RICH that #Saudi wants a UN investigation of a drone strike [with] no casualties while it has tried to BLOCK and refused to cooperate [with] UN investigation into attacks on civilians - thousands killed, hundreds of children, majority by Saudis," Sarah Leah Whitson, Executive Director for Human Rights Watch's Middle East and North Africa Division, said in a tweet on Tuesday.

Daryl G Kimball, Director of the Arms Control Association, pointed the finger at the global outcry over this weekend's attacks.

"If an attack on an oil field deserves a UN investigation and outrage from governments," he said on Tuesday. "Then the ugly Saudi-Iran proxy war in Yemen (causing famine for millions) is certainly worthy of a UN war crimes probe and the Kashoggi murder by KSA agents merits global condemnation."