The UN has announced it is altering last week’s “blacklist” of violators of children’s rights to remove the Saudi-led coalition attacking Yemen, amid intense diplomatic pressure from the Saudi government to change the list.
The coalition was responsible for an estimated 60% of the children killed in Yemen last year, though Saudi officials insisted that any inclusion on the list “contradicts” previous UN resolutions which endorsed the government the Saudi war intends to prop up.
UN officials had previously resisted the Saudi demand to remove them from the list, but backed down pretty quickly when Saudi officials started making statements of outrage about being included. The UN insists the removal is simply “pending review,” citing Saudi claims of inaccurate data.
Saudi officials rejected the slain that any review was pending, insisting that there was no way to put the coalition back on the list under any circumstances.
Several human rights groups issued statements criticizing the move, with Human Rights Watch terming it “deeply disturbing” that the Saudis were able to so easily get themselves removed from the list. The Saudis had similarly managed to avoid criticism of war crimes in Yemen during the UN General Assembly.