Saudi-led coalition rejects UN report

07 June 2016

UN blacklists coalition for violation of children’s rights

The Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen has rejected a recent UN report blacklisting it for violating children’s rights in its 14 month-old campaign.

“The [UN] report is unbalanced, does not depend on reliable statistics, does not serve the Yemeni people and misleads public opinions with incorrect figures…” Brigadier-General Ahmed Asiri told the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Asiri added that most of the figures cited by the UN report relied on information taken from parties affiliated with Houthi rebel militias and former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The UN report, released on 2 June, indicated that the coalition was responsible for 60 per cent of child deaths and injuries in 2015, killing 510 and wounding 667. It blamed the coalition for carrying out half of the attacks on schools and hospitals. This has resulted in a decision to blacklist the coalition.

Assiri said the report did not show the figures provided by the Yemeni legitimate government "that highlights the employment of children by Houthi militias in fighting fields and… the number of children killed due to their use in combating, planting mines and transferring ammunition and explosives.”

The UN estimates the war in Yemen has resulted in the loss of 6,400 lives, and injury in 30,500 others. Unicef said 900 of those killed and more than 1,300 of those injured are children. The war has also resulted in the closure of 3,600 schools, resulting in 3.4 million school-aged children out of school.

The Saudi-led campaign is supported by 10 Arab countries including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE. Saudi Arabia shares a 1,800-kilometre border with Yemen and the kingdom generally views its neighbour’s security as tantamount to its own.

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