Saudis Killed 502 Children in Yemen in Past Year

19 August, 2017, 05:18 | Author: Darrell Lopez
  • A young Yemeni girl waits among the crush of women lining up to receive free bread at a charity bakery during a severe shortage of food in Sanaa

A Saudi-led military coalition conducting airstrikes in Yemen committed "grave violations" of human rights against children a year ago, killing 502 and injuring 838, according to a draft report by the U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

The "vicious and brutal" war between the Saudi-backed Yemeni government and Iran-allied Houthi rebels is frequently conducted with complete disregard for global humanitarian law, Stephen O'Brien told the Security Council at a briefing in NY.

The draft report on children and armed conflict, which still has to be approved by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and is subject to change, blamed the Saudi-led coalition for more than 680 child casualties and three-quarters of the attacks on schools and hospitals in Yemen.

It will be up to Guterres to decide whether to return the Saudi-led coalition to a child rights blacklist annexed to the report.

The Saudi coalition was included on that blacklist in 2016, at least originally, though after Saudi Arabia demanded changes, on the grounds that the United Nations had endorsed their 2015 invasion, the United Nations quietly removed them from the blacklist.




"The killing and maiming of children remained the most prevalent violation" of children's rights in Yemen, according to the 41-page draft report obtained by Foreign Policy. Saudi Arabia denied threatening Ban. And they have enlisted the support of the United States, which has urged the U.N. not to list the Saudi-led coalition, saying it's unfair to implicate all coalition members, like those who have not engaged in atrocities, according to two well-placed sources.

Another diplomat said however that "no progress" had been made on a joint declaration made in June by the UN Security Council, which called on all warring parties in Yemen to facilitate aid deliveries to the country. If this Coalition has taken action by 2016 to limit the consequences of the conflict in their regard, "serious violations against children continued at a high level which is unacceptable", it is written in the document addressed to the security Council of the UN.

Gamba told Foreign Policy that the contents of the final report, which is still being discussed with various United Nations offices, have "not been finalized".

But now a leaked copy of this year's draft report says Saudi should once again be named and shamed for suspected war crimes against children in Yemen.

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