UN blacklisting Saudi Arabia unlikely to end killing of civilians in Yemen

YUSUF SELMAN İNANÇ @yusufsinanc
ISTANBUL
Published 06.10.2017 20:24

Reuters has reported that the United Nations is working on a draft that condemns Saudi activities in Yemen. The U.N.'s move is unlikely to have any affect since its resolutions and condemnations have been largely neglected by concerned countries, as observed in Syria.

Yemen is the scene of one of the most disastrous wars in the region as thousands of civilians have been killed, thousands internally displaced and outbreaks of several diseases, including cholera, have affected more than half of its population. The war between Houthi rebels and the Saudi-backed central government has worsened with the involvement of the Saudi-led coalition. The U.N. allegedly has prepared a report, calling Saudi Arabia child killers. "A confidential draft United Nations blacklist seen by Reuters on Tuesday names a Saudi Arabia-led military coalition for killing and maiming children in Yemen, though it notes that the alliance has put in place measures to improve child protection," Reuters reported last week. "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," the draft said, according to Reuters.

Previously, it was claimed that Saudi Arabia was going to remain under U.N. pressure due to the brutality of the war and that Riyadh was blackmailing countries that were going to sign the condemnation document. "The [Saudi] kingdom, accused of bombarding civilian targets like markets and hospitals, has so far succeeded in blocking an international probe. The Human Rights Council, which concludes its ongoing session on Friday, is again split over a path forward," an Agence France-Press (AFP) report said last week. "Though it had originally been placed on the 2016 report, it was later ‘temporarily' removed by then-UN chief Ban Ki-moon, who cited ‘unacceptable' pressure by Gulf countries, including threats by Saudi Arabia to cut funding to the UN. Ban described his decision to remove the coalition from the list as one of the most ‘painful and difficult,' but stood by his choice warning that ‘millions of other children would suffer grievously' in places such as Palestine, South Sudan and Syria if funding were cut," Al-Jazeera reported on Wednesday.

Whether the draft is published or not, it does not seem it will assuage Yemenis' pains as the U.N. failed to take measure against the brutalities in Syria. Both the regime and terrorist groups, including the Democratic Union Party's (PYD) People's Protection Units (YPG) militia and Daesh, have committed several atrocities and been condemned by the U.N., yet have not faced any serious sanctions in the Kurdish case. Moreover, in this case, Saudi Arabia is an important financial source. It is unlikely that the U.N.'s inefficiency would help end conflicts.

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