Campaigners and international civil society have reacted angrily to the removal of the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen from a list of groups violating children’s rights, in a report by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
The Saudis and their partners in crime should remain blacklisted for the violation of killing and maiming of thousands of Children, even though some reports claim there has been a sustained significant decrease due to indiscriminate air strikes.
They have killed a large number of children in the war on Yemen, and signs are there that they will continue to do so for the foreseeable future because they refuse to end their indiscriminate campaign, including attacks on schools and children hospitals.
The UN should take the following steps too, as the warmongers have no intention to end the unjustified conflict.
Saudi Arabia invaded Yemen in early 2015, with a coalition that includes Egypt, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Jordan, Senegal, Sudan, and the United States.
US involvement has included targeting support for Saudi warplanes, in-air refueling for Saudi bombers, and naval participation in the illegal blockade of Yemen. As the first step, the UN should exert pressure on these partners in crime to withdraw from this unnecessary and shameful collaboration.
The UN can force members at the Security Council to debate what the US and others have been helping the Saudi-led coalition do to Yemen, and it can put them all on record regarding their willingness to enable an atrocious war against a defenceless country whose people have done nothing to them.
If the UN passes a resolution, that would bring greater attention to the disgraceful policy that the Trump administration has been conducting. It is an important step in reasserting Security Council’s role in matters of war and in trying to end this despicable barbarity.
The blacklist on children’s rights violation is released annually by the UN. Saudi Arabia and its coalition have been included on the list for several years. Despite the removal being done pending review, there is no sign serious review will ever happen. Under the current circumstances, it will be a disaster for the UN to repeat the same mistake it made before.
As with a recent effort by the UN General Assembly to investigate war crimes in Yemen, the Saudis shouldn’t be allowed to get their way, such as presenting moves that bury the worst of the war’s excesses as “compromise” resolutions. And no, they haven’t reduced their air strikes on civilian objects, either.
Without American arms and diplomatic support at the UN, the Saudis cannot continue their despicable war crimes in Yemen. The UN could do much more to alleviate the suffering of Yemeni children if it calls for an arms embargo at the Security Council against Saudi Arabia.
Several Western countries are also complicit in Saudi war crimes by providing weapons and intelligence. They must be forced to drop these activities.
There are several other reasons to immediately end this shameful war: Involvement in the Saudi-led war serves no national security interests, and it has nothing to do with combating threats to the United States, NATO or their allies.
On the contrary, the war has greatly strengthened Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the local ISIL affiliate, and if Washington has ever been honest about ISIL and al Qaeda threats to its national security, then their present course of actions and policy has harmed Western and global security interests. The war has destabilized the region and devastated Yemen, and the Western governments’ enabling role has made them complicit in Saudi war crimes. It’s hard to claim otherwise.
In short, the illegal war is an indefensible horror that is also undermining UN interests, and the world body should have no part in it. By keeping the Saudis on its blacklist and passing a resolution on the blacklist, member states at the Security Council could put an end to this disgrace right away, but since some like the US will not, they need to be pressured to do so.
The United Nations is the only institution that can possibly rein in a destructive policy like this once and for all. The world is watching for the UN’s next step. It shouldn’t cave to American-Saudi pressures.