Last week Saudi Arabia was blacklisted by the UN as part of their annual report on Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC), for the kingdom’s role in indiscriminate bombings of schools and hospitals in Yemen. However, after feverish lobbying by the Saudi envoy to the UN, in conjunction with US and UK officials, the UN officials have announced that they temporarily removed them from the list to review the crimes.
"It is not in our style, it is not in our genes, it is not in our culture to use threats and intimidation. We have the greatest respect for the United Nations institutions and to the Secretary General," Saudi envoy to the UN Abdullah al-Mouallimi said.
However, diplomatic sources cited by Reuters claim that the office of the UN Secretary General was subjected to “bullying, threats, and pressure” by the interested parties, and that it was "real blackmail."
It should be noted that Saudi Arabia is one of the largest UN donors in the Middle East and the loss of the kingdom’s support would’ve dealt a serious blow to the organization’s humanitarian projects in the region.
Nevertheless, al-Mouallimi dismissed these allegations, adding that the UN report itself was "wildly exaggerated."
Since the Saudi-led coalition, supported by the US and UK, attacked the Houthis in March 2015, over 6,500 Yemeni civilians have been killed. Of those who have died, the UN report attributes 510 child deaths and 667 child injuries to some 50 separate attacks on schools and hospitals by the Saudi-led coalition.