UN keeps Saudi-led coalition in Yemen on child-death blacklist

UN keeps Saudi-led coalition in Yemen on child-death blacklist
2 min read
02 August, 2016
Riyadh has not provided enough proof to be permanently removed from the UN blacklist over the killing of children in Yemen, Reuters quoted UN sources as saying on Tuesday.
Ban Ki-moon is to brief the UN Security Council on the review on Tuesday [Anadolu]
Saudi Arabia has yet not given enough evidence to warrant the removal of the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen from a United Nation's blacklist, a UN diplomatic source said on Monday.

UN officials said they will need to visit Riyadh to obtain details on a number of issues, including rules of engagement, Reuters reported a source as saying.

The Saudi-led coalition, which includes the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Senegal and Sudan, was placed on the UN's annual blacklist over its intensive bombing campaign of Yemen, which the UN said was responsible for 60 percent of child deaths and injuries.

The coalition was then temporarily removed from the blacklist pending a joint review with Riyadh, after the kingdom, an important UN donor, threatened to cut funds.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was set to brief the UN Security Council on the review on Tuesday.

"[Ban Ki-moon] plans to tell the 15-member council that the United Nations will continue to work with Saudi Arabia on the issue and reinforce that only the blacklist is under review, not the substance of the report," Reuters reported a diplomatic source as saying.

The Saudi-led coalition launched an air campaign in support of Yemen's President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi in March 2015 after he and his government fled the capital Sanaa following a takeover by Iranian-backed Houthi rebel fighters.

Since then, a series of airstrikes has hit homes, local markets, a wedding party, a hospital and a convoy of four World Food Programme trucks, resulting in heavy civilian causalities.

The death of hundreds of civilians provoked international outcry, although most of Riyadh's western allies appear to continue providing training and weapons to the kingdom.

The UN responded with a "list of shame" of child right violators in June, naming Saudi Arabia in its list and citing the death 510 children and wounding 667 others. 

Since the start of the war in Yemen in March 2015, some 6,400 people have been killed, exacerbating the pre-war humanitarian crisis in the impoverished country, according to the United Nations.