ISLAMABAD: Saudi Arabia has rejected the UN's move to blacklist the coalition fighting in Yemen, calling the information cited in the international body's annual list "misleading."
"We reject the inaccurate and misleading information and figures contained in the report," the Arab News reported quoting Saudi Ambassador to the UN Abdallah Al-Mouallimi as saying during a news conference at the United Nations.
He insisted the Saudi-led coalition does everything possible to avoid hitting civilians.
Al-Mouallimi added that the coalition exercises maximum degree of care, precaution to avoid civilian harm.
The Kingdom’s envoy said the UN report about children in armed conflict had lacked means of collecting information and securing sources in Yemen.
He added that the UN did not put the coalition on the “first list” that includes children's rights violators.
In the report, the UN praised the decrease in the number of victims in Yemen due to the coalition's actions and spoke of the responsibility of a militia for violating children's rights.
“We are consulting with the United Nations to correct the image by facts and information,” Al-Muallimi said.
Meanwhile, the Arab coalition working to restore legitimacy in Yemen has released a statement in response to the UN’s Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict.
The coalition acknowledged that the UN report had added it to a list of bodies and states that had taken measures to improve the protection of children. The report also praised the coalition’s cooperation with the UN, according to the statement.
The coalition expressed appreciation toward UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who expressed his wish to continue cooperating with the coalition in order to promote child protection.
However, the coalition denied and condemned other claims made in the report.
The coalition stated that the release of such claims impacts the credibility of the UN report and condemned the misinformation that was delivered to the UN, which the coalition says deflects attention away from the crimes committed by the militia.
The coalition stressed its wish to abide by international laws and standards to protect civilians and keep them safe by ensuring precaution and vigilance.
The coalition ascertained that the unfortunate consequences of this conflict are a result of the actions of the militia and its loyalists’ apparent decision to use children as human shields and militants, which is a flagrant violation of international laws.
The coalition requested that the UN report be corrected and it also called upon the UN to continue its cooperation in order to promote the safety and protection of children.
The coalition also invited the UN to hold the militia and its loyalists accountable for crimes against children in Yemen.
The coalition stressed its willingness to keep helping the Yemeni people by maintaining stability in the region.