Saudi coalition to blame for half of Yemen child casualties

A Saudi Arabia-led military coalition was responsible for an “unacceptably high” 51 percent of child deaths and injuries in Yemen last year, according to a draft United Nations report seen by Reuters.

The draft report on children and armed conflict, which still has to be approved by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and is subject to change, blamed the Saudi-led coalition for more than 680 child casualties and three-quarters of the attacks on schools and hospitals in Yemen.

It will be up to Guterres to decide whether to return the Saudi-led coalition to a child rights blacklist annexed to the report. The coalition was briefly added last year and then removed by then-U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon. At the time, the Saudi-led coalition had been named on the blacklist after the U.N. report blamed it for 60 percent of child deaths and injuries in Yemen in 2015, plus half the attacks on schools and hospital.

The Saudi-led coalition began an air campaign in Yemen in March 2015 to defeat Iran-allied Houthi rebels.

[Reuters]

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