The United Nations’ disgraceful decision to remove Saudi-led military coalition against Yemen from a children’s rights blacklist cannot cover up the Al Saud’s atrocities against Yemeni people, deputy chief of Hezbollah’s executive council said.
The UN’s move to drop Saudi-led military coalition against Yemen from the blacklist marked a blot on the international body’s record, Sheikh Nabil Qaouk was quoted as saying by Al Ahed news agency.
He said the omission was a big scandal for Saudi Arabia and revealed the kingdom’s intimidating policies against the international community.
“The removal of the Saudi name from the blacklist of murderers of Yemeni children does not conceal the country’s crimes against Yemen from the public,” Qaouk stated.
Though the Riyadh regime bought the votes of major countries, it will never be able to intimidate the resistance movement or undermine its dignity and resolve in Lebanon, he underlined.
The Saudi-led coalition –including Bahrain, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Senegal and Sudan- was placed on the United Nations list over its military campaign against Yemen, after the UN report on children and armed conflict said the coalition was responsible for 60 percent of the 1,953 children recorded as killed or maimed in Yemen in 2015.
But on June 8, the UN removed the coalition from the blacklist. UN sources said Ban Ki-moon’s office was barraged with calls from the Arab foreign ministers and ministers from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) following the blacklisting.
A diplomatic source, who wished to remain anonymous, said there were “bullying, threats, pressure”, adding it was “real blackmail”.
He also said there was a real risk of “clerics in Riyadh meeting to issue a fatwa against the UN, declaring it anti-Muslim, which would mean no contacts of OIC members, no relations, contributions, support, to any UN projects, programs.”
Diplomatic sources said the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) would suffer if the blacklisting was upheld, as Saudi allegedly threatened to pull its funding.
Saudi Arabia is the fourth biggest contributor to UNRWA after the United States, European Union and Britain, having contributed nearly $100 million in 2015.
Human rights groups have reacted angrily to the news, accusing Ban of giving in to pressure and suggesting the U-turn could harm his legacy as his time at the helm of the UN comes to an end.
Human rights organization Amnesty International described the UN’s actions as “blatant pandering” to Saudi Arabia that “undermines all of the UN’s work to protect children caught up in war.”