Draft UN Blacklist Names Saudi Coalition for Killing Yemeni Children

Draft UN Blacklist Names Saudi  Coalition for Killing Yemeni ChildrenDraft UN Blacklist Names Saudi  Coalition for Killing Yemeni Children

A confidential draft United Nations blacklist seen by Reuters on Tuesday names a US-backed Saudi Arabia military coalition for killing and maiming children in Yemen, though it notes that the alliance has put in place measures to improve child protection.

In an effort to dampen controversy surrounding the annual children and armed conflict report, the draft blacklist —contained in an annex to the full report— is split into “listed parties that have put in place measures during the reporting period to improve the protection of children” and those which have not, Reuters reported.

“In Yemen, the coalition’s actions objectively led to the listing for the killing and maiming of children, with 683 child casualties attributed to this party, and, as a result of being responsible for 38 verified incidents, for attacks on schools and hospitals during 2016,” according to a draft explanation of the blacklist seen by Reuters.

The draft report has to be approved by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and is subject to change. It is due to be submitted to the UN Security Council this month, and the 15-member body is to discuss the report on Oct. 31.

The Saudi UN ambassador, Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, declined to comment until the report is officially issued. In August, the Saudi UN mission said there was “no justification whatsoever” for including the coalition on the blacklist.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the United Nations does not comment on leaked documents.

The coalition was briefly added to the blacklist last year and then removed by then-UN chief Ban Ki-moon pending review. At the time, Ban accused Saudi Arabia of exerting “unacceptable” undue pressure after sources told Reuters that Riyadh threatened to cut its UN funding. Saudi Arabia denied threatening Ban.

Separately, the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council agreed on Friday to set up a panel to examine all alleged human rights violations committed in Yemen’s war and identify those responsible.

UN human rights chief Zeid Ra‘ad al-Hussein had long-pleaded with the 47-member Human Rights Council to launch an independent investigation into the war, which has killed thousands, ruined the economy and pushed millions to the brink of famine.

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