Draft UN Blacklist Names Saudi Arabia as Child Killers

mufti saudi arabia
AP/Hassan Ammar

A draft of a U.N. blacklist will reportedly accuse Saudi Arabia’s military coalition of killing and injuring children in Yemen—a rare scolding in a body that often avoids criticizing the Islamic kingdom.

The draft, first reported by Reuters, names those countries and groups “that recruit or use children, kill or maim children, commit rape and other forms of sexual violence against children, or engage in attacks on schools and/or hospitals, or abduct children in situations of armed conflict.”

The draft is expected to be published in the coming days as part of a broader report the U.N. Security Council, according to the New York Times.

Saudi-backed forces have been launching airstrikes against Iran-backed Houthi rebels, who swept the U.N.-approved government out of power in 2014 and control the capital Sana’a. The Saudi-backed coalition has been accused of widespread civilian killings and being too indiscriminate in picking its bombing targets.

The conflict has allowed al-Qaeda to sweep into the southern part of the country, while cholera and famine have plagued civilians as the bloody civil war drags on.

“In Yemen, the coalition’s actions objectively led to the listing for the killing and maiming of children, with 683 child casualties attributed to this party, and, as a result of being responsible for 38 verified incidents, for attacks on schools and hospitals during 2016,” an accompanying explanation says, according to Reuters.

The draft report would also blacklist the Houthi rebel, pro-government forces and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) for their disregard for the lives of children.

The report, issued in the name of Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, is a black eye not only against Saudi Arabia but also the Trump administration, which has increased the U.S. sales of weaponry to the oil-rich nation.

The Times reports that the draft is split into countries that have made no improvement to the treatment of children. Saudi Arabia is on the list of those who have tried to improve, while their Houthi rivals are on the list of those who have not.

Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY

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