UNITED NATIONS, June 7, (Agencies): Following a vehement protest from Saudi Arabia, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday removed the Saudi-led coalition fighting Shiite rebels in Yemen from a list of government forces that committed grave violations against children last year, pending a joint review of cases.
Saudi Arabia’s UN Ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi insisted “the removal is unconditional and irreversible,” explaining that the government has no problem with a review and is confident it will conclude that the coalition was “wrongly placed on the list.” Earlier, he asked for an immediate correction saying Saudi Arabia’s inclusion on the list was based on “inaccurate and incomplete” information.
The secretary-general’s annual report on children and armed conflict released Thursday said the UN verified a total of 1,953 youngsters killed and injured in 2015 — a six-fold increase in the number of child casualties in Yemen compared with 2014. About 60 percent of those casualties were attributed to the coalition. The UN said it also verified 101 attacks on schools and hospitals last year, double the number in 2014, of which 48 percent were attributed to the coalition.