By Hanif Ghaffari

Saudi Arabia on the UN blacklist

October 7, 2017

Saudi Arabia's crimes in Yemen continue. These crimes have killed thousands of women, children and civilians in Yemen. On the other hand, these crimes have displaced millions of Yemeni people. In such a situation, the United Nations has always tried to tolerate Riyadh in this regard! The reason for this is quite clear.

 The three permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, the United States, France and the United Kingdom, are among the main supporters of Riyadh. The three countries are demanding the killing of the Yemeni people and the women and children of this country.

Since the Yemeni people chose the Houthis to run the country and the Yemeni people's victory won, Saudi Arabia attacked Yemen with military, promotional and media support from Western countries. The attacks began two years ago.

Yemen has been devastated by more than two years of civil war in which President Abd-Rabu Mansour Hadi’s government, backed by the Saudi-led coalition, is fighting to drive the Houthis out of cities they seized in 2014 and 2015. 

At that time, Saudi Arabia thought it would be able to seize Yemen within two weeks. However, two years have passed since then, and Riyadh has faced a severe defeat in Yemen. This failure has been so severe that even some Western countries have preferred to reduce their support for Riyadh in this regard.

As Independent reported, the United Nations has blacklisted the Saudi Arabia-led military coalition in Yemen for killing or injuring 683 children, and attacking dozens of schools and hospitals.

The coalition had been briefly added to last year’s blacklist, and then removed by then-UN chief Ban Ki-moon pending review. At the time, Mr. Ban accused Saudi Arabia of exerting “unacceptable” undue pressure after sources told Reuters that Riyadh threatened to cut some UN funding. Saudi Arabia denied this.

The Saudi-led military group was involved in 38 verified attacks on schools and hospitals in 2016, the UN said.

 UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres spoke with Saudi King Salman by phone on Wednesday. 

In an apparent effort to dampen controversy surrounding the report, the blacklist this year is split into two categories. One lists parties that have put in place measures to protect children, which includes the Saudi-led military coalition, and the other includes parties that have not.

Yemen has been devastated by more than two years of civil war in which President Abd-Rabu Mansour Hadi’s government, backed by the Saudi-led coalition, is fighting to drive the Houthis out of cities they seized in 2014 and 2015.

More than 10,000 people have been killed and the conflict has ruined the economy and pushed millions to the brink of famine. The Houthis control much of northern Yemen, including the capital, Sanaa.

UN sanctions monitors reported to the Security Council in January that the Saudi-led coalition had carried out attacks in Yemen that “may amount to war crimes.” Riyadh denies the allegation. The UN sanctions monitors said at the time that the coalition was made up of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Sudan.

As for the report of the Independent publication, we need to point out: First, as noted in the report, former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon retreated from his position on the inclusion of Saudi Arabia in the UN blacklist. This withdrawal reflects the United Nations' lack of credibility in dealing with international crises. Undoubtedly, one of the black spots of the Ban Ki-moon report at UN Secretary-General's Office was the same.

The new United Nations Secretary-General will also be pushed by Saudi Arabia to remove the name from the United Nations blacklist. Would the Secretary-General of the United Nations, in such a situation, act in the same way as Ban Ki-moon?

As mentioned above, despite the passing of two years since the beginning of the Yemeni war, Al Saud has experienced a huge defeat in this country. In other words, Yemen has become the symbol of the defeat and collapse of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia's defeat in Yemen is increasing day by day, Saudi officials hear disappointing news from the battlefield in Yemen.

The famine and human tragedy in Yemen are shadowed by the oppressed people. Riyadh and its allies have been targeting Yemen's men, women, and children for two years. This al-Saud's action has been taken with the support of Western countries and Riyadh's Arab allies.

The UN sanctions monitors said at the time that the coalition was made up of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Sudan.

Jimmy McGovernic, UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs in Yemen, warned of a famine in Yemen this year if no international community moves to put an end to its crisis.

He added: "The United Nations is concerned about the famine in Yemen this year and it can not provide immediate assistance that the Yemeni people need." The Yemenis are not alive without international aid. The threat of a country's famine that has been in war for more than two years threatens to increase the risk of a humanitarian catastrophe.

The United Nations humanitarian coordinator urged the international community to take the necessary steps to end the war in Yemen.

What is happening today in Yemen is a complete genocide. Hundreds of thousands of Yemeni people have suffered from cholera on the one hand, and the rise of attacks by the Saudi aggression regime on Yemeni women, men and children has caused serious harm in the country.

 Riyadh, which has faced severe defeat in two years since its attack on Yemen, has increased its madness toward the country and has targeted its people. In such a situation, human rights organizations and even assemblies, such as the Arab League, and ... have remained silent about Al-Saud's inhuman crimes.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently announced that more than 500,000 Yemeni people have been infected with cholera for the past four months. "Cholera is rapidly spreading in areas that have recently been affected by the disease," the WHO reports. "The disease, if not treated, leads to death in a few hours."
 According to the World Health Organization, over 99% of the patients who have been transferred to health centers have survived, but children and the elderly are the most vulnerable to cholera.

United Nations reports indicate that the number of airborne coalition flights to Yemen during the first half of 2017 exceeds the number of air strikes over the year 2016. According to the report, the monthly average of Saudi airborne air strikes in Yemen's provinces in the year 2017 was almost three times more than in the previous year.

It should be noted that the failure of Saudi Arabia in Yemen has pushed Riyadh officials to end the war. The newly arrived information from the UAE ambassador to Washington reveals that Saudi Arabia, two years after the all-encompassing costly war of Yemen, wants Saudi Arabia to withdraw from the war.

Saudi Arabia and its allies will have no choice but to accept the defeat in Yemen. They will ultimately have to accept the failure of this war at a great cost.

Today, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are very worried about the failure in Yemen. The failure that has actually happened so far. This concern has existed since the middle of 2015 among Saudi and UAE officials. This concern has now been interpreted!

As disclosed in the media, in the fall of 2015, the United Arab Emirates’s ambassador to the United States, Yousef Al Otaiba, sent a concerned email to a group of high-level officials in his government. The war in Yemen, he said, was becoming a public-relations nightmare.

The Obama administration, he told leadership back home, remained reluctantly supportive, but the ongoing Saudi-led campaign was harming the U.S.’s reputation and thus putting his own country, an active and eager participant in the war, in a delicate position. 

The September 2015 memo documenting Otaiba’s concerns was sent to a wide set of UAE decision makers. It was originally emailed to Assistant Secretary-General of the Supreme National Security Council Ali Al Shamsi, Crown Prince Court Undersecretary Mohamed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, and Syed Basar Shueb, a Pal Technology executive.

Otaiba then forwarded the email to Khaldoon Al Mubarak, a top UAE official close to Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, informing him that he sent the same memo to “TBZ, ABZ, and Dr. Anwar” — referring to Emirates Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan; Tahnoon bin Zayed, a senior banker in the UAE; and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Mohammed Gargash.

In the memo, Otaiba laid out stark concerns about the war and the political situation it was creating. “In a series of long conversations with WH officials, it has become evident that the human toll and collateral damage occurring in Yemen is putting the administration in a political corner,” he wrote.

Finally, the world's public opinion is very dissatisfied with the performance of the United Nations and other international institutions in Yemen. The inclusion of the name of Saudi Arabia in the UN blacklist is the most minimal measure that the UN should take to date. An action that has already taken place two years after the start of the Yemeni war and is too late.

 However, Saudi Arabia and its allies will have no choice but to accept the defeat in Yemen. They will ultimately have to accept the failure of this war at a great cost. Without doubt, after the end of the Yemeni war, Saudi officials and Riyadh allies should be tried and punished for crimes committed in Yemen.



 

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