Yemen’s UNESCO body decries UN removal of Riyadh from child-killers blacklist

Yemen’s national commission for the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has urged the world body to reconsider its decision to remove the Saudi-led military coalition from its blacklist of child-killers and instead refer such crimes to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

In a statement on Tuesday, the Yemeni commission censured the UN’s recent pro-Saudi move, describing it as a major failure for the world body and its humanitarian principles.

The UN decision ignores the confessions of members of the Saudi-led coalition regarding massacres of Yemeni kids and the legal reports issued by the UN’s own bodies that prove the coalition’s involvement in the killings, starvation and beatings of Yemeni children, it further said.

The UN decision is a sign of “mercy” for the atrocities of the Saudi regime and its allies, paving the way for the military coalition to commit even more crimes with impunity and disregard of international law, said the commission.

It said the move proved discrimination in the UN’s approach toward children’s rights and will have a negative impact on the future generations’ view of the history and the role of the United Nations, it added.

The decision would undermine the UN Yemen envoy’s efforts to end the years-long conflict and a deadly blockade of the Yemeni children, it said, calling on regional and international organizations to stand by Yemeni children and protect their rights against Saudi atrocities.

On June 15, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres took away the Saudi-led coalition engaged in an atrocious military campaign against Yemen from a blacklist, several years after it was first named and shamed for killing and injuring children in the impoverished country.

The move prompted immediate protests from human rights groups worldwide.

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched the devastating war on Yemen in March 2015 in order to bring former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crush Houthi Ansarullah movement.

The US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, estimates that the war has claimed more than 100,000 lives over the past five years.

More than half of Yemen’s hospitals and clinics have been destroyed or closed during the war by the Saudi-led coalition, which is supported militarily by the UK, US and other Western nations.


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