Saudi-led coalition rejects UN blacklisting

2016-06-05 16:05
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Riyadh - The Saudi-led coalition fighting Shi'ite rebels in Yemen on Sunday rejected a UN report that placed it on an annual blacklist over the deaths of hundreds of children in air strikes.

"The report is imbalanced and does not rely on credible statistics, nor does it serve the Yemeni people," said coalition spokesperson Brigadier General Ahmed Assiri.

"It misleads the public with incorrect numbers and mostly relies on information from sources associated with the Huthi militia and the deposed (former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah) Saleh," he said.

The report, released by the office of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, said 785 children had been killed and 1 168 injured in Yemen last year, blaming the Saudi-led coalition for 60% of the toll.

It blacklisted both the coalition and rebel forces for a "very large number of violations" including "attacks on schools and hospitals".

Saudi Arabia launched the intervention in Yemen in March last year in support of the internationally recognised government of Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi against Huthi rebels accused of having links with Iran and army units loyal to Saleh, who was forced out of office in 2012 under a Gulf-sponsored deal.

The UN says about 6 400 people have been killed in the war.

Assiri said the coalition was in Yemen to "protect the Yemeni people, including children, from the actions of the Huthi militia."

He cited a $30m Saudi aid programme for Yemen launched in co-operation with the UN children's fund.


Read more on:    yemen

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