UN moves to blacklist Saudi-led coalition over children killed in Yemen airstrikes

Published June 5th, 2016 - 09:01 GMT
Yemenis affected by the country's ongoing conflict receive food rations provided by an initiative organized by a local charity in the capital Sanaa on June 2, 2016. (AFP/Mohammed Huwais)
Yemenis affected by the country's ongoing conflict receive food rations provided by an initiative organized by a local charity in the capital Sanaa on June 2, 2016. (AFP/Mohammed Huwais)

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has added the Saudi military coalition in Yemen to an annual blacklist of states and armed groups that openly flout the rights of children.

Ban said in a report released on Thursday that the coalition was responsible for 60 percent of child casualties in Yemen last year, when it killed 510 children and injured 667 others.

The report further noted that the Saudi military contingent carried out half of its aerial attacks against schools and medical facilities.

“Grave violations against children increased dramatically as a result of the escalating conflict,” Ban stated.

Meanwhile,the UN humanitarian chief in Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, said Saudi Arabia’s military campaign in Yemen has left hospitals, schools, and other essential services almost completely broken.

McGoldrick called Yemen's war "an invisible crisis", voicing regret at the lack of international attention given to the country compared to the foreign-sponsored militancy in Syria.

“The scale of the emergency is tremendous. The scale of the need is massive and the depth of the crisis is immeasurable,” he said on Thursday.

“Government services and the health system were hardly functioning before the conflict and the war has all but broken them completely,” McGoldrick stated.

On Wednesday, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said some 10,000 of Yemeni children, all less than five years of age, lost their lives last year as a result of “totally avoidable and preventable diseases” such as diarrhea and pneumonia.

Editor's note: This article has been edited from the source material.


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