UK Admits Its Oil-Rich Allies Breaching Intl. Law in War on Yemen
Story Code : 554796
In an embarrassing turnaround on the UK’s position over Saudi regime’s aggression on neighboring Yemen, The British Foreign Office issued several corrections on Thursday to statements from ministers in Parliament over the past few months that international humanitarian law had not been breached by the Saudis.
Britain’s withdrawal from its stance came after a United Nations’ report released last month found that Saudi-led coalition’s members wreaking havoc on Yemen were responsible for killing more than 500 children.
However, day after the report UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon removed the Saudi-led from the child killers’ list following threats from a number of countries.
Ban said on temporarily removing the coalition from the blacklist was "one of the most painful and difficult decisions I have had to make," and that it raised “the very real prospect that millions of other children would suffer grievously.
The UN secretary-general added that "it is unacceptable for member states to exert undue pressure...scrutiny is a natural and necessary part of the work of the United Nations."
British sales of weapons to Saudi Arabia and other Arab monarchies in the Persian Gulf have also faced strict scrutiny since Riyadh began bombing Yemen in March 2015, killing thousands of civilians.
Saudi Arabia launched its military aggression against Yemen in a bid to bring the country’s former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh, back to power and undermine the Ansarullah movement. More than 10,000 people have reportedly been killed since then.
A UN report leaked to the Guardian in January found “widespread and systematic” targeting of civilians in the Saudi-led strikes. The report found 119 strikes that it said violated international humanitarian law, including attacks on health facilities, schools, wedding parties and camps for internally displaced people and refugees.