Addressing the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on Monday with respect to the massive civilian death toll in the Saudi invasion of Yemen, Saudi officials made rare admissions of fault, saying that they had made “mistakes” in targeting and were working hard to rectify the problem.
Saudi officials were clearly trying to use this to get a pass on the ten thousand-plus killed civilians, insisting that the internal investigations note the “mistakes,” and that perpetrators will be “held to account,” despite little evidence that this ever happened.
The UN committee didn’t appear to be sold on this idea either, with members noting the war has been going on since 2015 with no sign of prosecutions for civilian deaths. Panel chairwoman Renate Winter noted that an awfully large number of these “mistakes” had hit the same civilian targets, with several schools and hospitals hit myriad times. She asked how many times the Saudis could possibly keep making that same mistake.
For Saudi officials, of course, the illusion of improvement is what is sought here, but it does warrant asking why, several years into the war, the sites of long-destroyed schoolhouses keep getting hit with “precision” munitions, since that seemingly doesn’t do the Saudi war any good, whether civilians are present or not.