#UN blacklists #Saudi coalition over killing #Yemeni children:
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 aggression against 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.
Dujarric said the heavy loss was due to the closure of hundreds of health centers and the total collapse of the healthcare system in the war-torn country.
“The overall healthcare system throughout Yemen has all but collapsed, over 600 health facilities closing their doors due to the lack of financial resources to procure medicine, supplies and fuel for generators,” he said, adding thousands of medical staff have gone unpaid or left Yemen.
Saudi Arabia launched its military aggression against Yemen on March 26, 2015, in a bid to reinstate resigned President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh, and undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement.
More than 9,400 people have been killed and at least 16,000 others injured in the aggression.