According to Reuters, a confidential draft of the latest UN blacklist on child victims of armed conflict included Saudi Arabia and its coalition related to the large number of children they’ve killed and maimed in the war in Yemen.
The report confirmed that Saudi actions “objectively led to” 683 child casualties, and 38 verified incidents, including attacks on both schools and hospitals within Yemen in the course of 2016. The draft’s Yemen section includes the Saudi coalition, al-Qaeda, pro-government militias, and the Shi’ite Houthi movement, though the coalition was by far responsible for the most casualties.
Saudi Arabia invaded Yemen in early 2015, with a coalition that includes Egypt, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Jordan, Senegal, Sudan, and the United States. US involvement has included targeting support for Saudi warplanes, in-air refueling for Saudi bombers, and naval participation in the blockade of Yemen.
The report on child casualties is distinct from a UN Security Council report making the rounds back in August, which confirmed 502 children killed in the Saudi war in the past year.
The “name-and-shame” blacklist on children’s rights violation is released annually by the United Nations. Saudi Arabia and its coalition were also included on the list last year upon release.
That list, released in early June of 2016, only lasted a couple of days before the UN announced it was “temporarily” removing the Saudis because the Saudi government was complaining. Despite the removal being done pending review, there’s no sign serious review ever happened, and the Saudis insisted that there would be no mechanism for adding them back to the list.
This year’s report is due to be submitted to the UN Security Council this month, and it’s likely to be the latest in a long line of reports related to the Yemen War that the Saudis will be desperately trying to bury. As with a recent effort by the UN General Assembly to investigate war crimes in Yemen, the Saudis have tended to get their way, presenting moves that bury the worst of the war’s excesses as “compromise” resolutions.
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