U.N. Removes Saudi-Led Coalition From Child-Killer Blacklist

NEW YORK — U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday removed a Saudi Arabia-led military coalition from an annual U.N. blacklist, several years after it was first named and shamed for killing and injuring children in Yemen.

Countries or groups can be blacklisted for killing, injuring or abusing children, abducting or recruiting children, denying aid access for children or targeting schools and hospitals. The Saudi-led military coalition has officially been on the blacklist for the past three years.

Yemen has been mired in conflict since the Iran-allied Houthi group ousted the government from the capital Sanaa in 2014. The Saudi-led military coalition in 2015 intervened in a bid to restore the government.

The coalition killed or injured 222 children in Yemen last year, Mr. Guterres wrote in his annual report to the U.N. Security Council. He said the Houthis were responsible for 313 such casualties and Yemeni government forces for 96 casualties. Both remain on the blacklist.

The U.N. report does not subject those listed to action, but rather shames parties to conflicts in the hope of pushing them to implement measures to protect children. Guterres said the coalition would “be delisted for the violation of killing and maiming, following a sustained significant decrease in killing and maiming due to airstrikes” and the implementation of measures aimed at protecting children.

But he added that the coalition would be subjected to one year of monitoring and “any failure” to further decrease child casualties would result in it being listed again next year.

The Saudi mission to the U.N. did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report.

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